United States security teams warned to look out for shoe explosives


WASHINGTON — U.S. security officials have been warned to look out for explosives components that can be smuggled in travelers’ thick-soled shoes, but no specific threat against the United States was reported.

A memo from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security, reported by CBS this week, said European authorities in September found electric blasting caps hidden inside the thick rubber soles that had been packed in luggage.

A DHS spokesman was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

The memo said the shoe modifications are “difficult to detect by visual inspection.” It said homeland security and law enforcement officials need to be alert particularly at passenger screening checkpoints.

U.S. airports do X-ray screening of footwear, but not all overseas airports with U.S.-bound flights have the same requirement.