Remote-Control Toys a Terrorism Risk?

By Matthew Harwood

Well, maybe. Possibly.

Via Agence Presse France:

US airport inspectors are honing in on remote-controlled toys in passengers' luggage after warnings by the country's Homeland Security department, the Transportation Security Administration said.

In an announcement Monday, Kip Hawley, the assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security in charge of aviation security, said travellers can expect to see more scrutiny of toys as they pass through inspection gates at airports.

The New York Times reports that Hawley said there is "credible specific information" about terrorist tactics involving remote-control toys. However, there isn't intelligence on a specific plot, but DHS and TSA are taking the necessary precautions, including patting down children carrying remote-control toys.

The Times article also noted that toy remotes have been used before by terrorists as a detonation device.

The new policy comes just days after the federal authorities in South Carolina disclosed that a Florida college student arrested in August on explosive-related charges had made a video that he posted on YouTube showing how to use such a remote-control toy as a detonator.

Mr. Hawley acknowledged in an interview Monday that this video played a role in the new policy. But it was just one piece of intelligence that led to the change. Remote-control toys might have been used already by terrorists in Sri Lanka and India, one federal official noted.





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