Governments tighten air cargo security

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Governments tighten air cargo security

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Security surrounding the sending of freight by air is being tightened around the world following the interception of two US-bound bombs at the weekend.

The German and Dutch governments are among several banning passenger and cargo flights from Yemen while Britain is also stopping all air freight sent from Somalia.

One bomb which was found on a cargo plane in central England had passed through Germany before reaching the UK.

A crisis meeting in Downing Street has also decided to suspend the carriage of toner cartridges in passengers’ hand luggage leaving UK airports – a move which will not help beleaguered airline operators according to Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary.

“Can we have some common sense response to this, to maybe cargo aircraft or to cargo packages, but we really don’t need any more complicated and completely ineffectual security measures for passengers at airports, given that most of the existing ones have no bearing on security whatsoever,” said O’Leary.

The toner ban comes after the bombs were planted inside printer ink cartridge containers. They were filled with an industrial explosive.

US authorities say Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri is now the prime suspect in the bomb plot.

The second device was intercepted in Dubai.

Both bombs originated in Yemen but Somalia is also considered a risk because of a possible link between al Qaeda terrorists in the two countries.