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Another shoe bomb alert

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 25, 2007 09:30 PM

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Several MSM outlets got a hold of a joint FBI-DHS homeland security bulletin warning of potential shoe bomb attacks. ABC News:

Following the seizure in Europe of hollowed-out shoes containing blasting caps, U.S. authorities have been told to be on the lookout for thick-soled shoes that could be used to conceal explosives, as infamously was the case with convicted “shoe bomber” Richard Reid.

According to a Department of Homeland Security-FBI bulletin issued Wednesday, Oct. 24, European authorities in September 2007 discovered a pair of shoes that were used to smuggle electric blasting caps across international borders for use in a terrorist attack.

“A recent terrorist incident involving the international smuggling of electric blasting caps highlights the continuing use of modified footwear as a concealment method for explosive devices,” stated the DHS-FBI Bulletin “Terrorist Use of Modified Footwear to Conceal Explosive Devices.”

CBS:

The joint FBI-Homeland Security bulletin, obtained by CBS News today, bluntly warns that terrorists are still working to use “modified footwear as a concealment method for explosive devices,” CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports.

The alert follows the discovery of bomb detonators – expertly hidden in the hollowed-out soles of this pair of shoes – found aboard a European bus last month.

Intelligence officials say the shoes were not being worn at the time, but instead were being used, as the document says, “to smuggle electric blasting caps across international borders for use in a terrorist attack.”

“The terrorists have an interest in explosive devices. They are trying to figure out the best way to push them, to move them through the system,” said CBS News counterterrorism analyst Paul Kurtz.

Shoes have been used by terrorists before.

Three months after 9/11, al Qaeda operative Richard Reid tried to blow up an American Airlines jet with a shoe bomb similar to the one shown in this test.

Now at U.S. airports, scanners X-ray all passengers’ shoes and carry on bags, searching for explosives.

Still, experts worry that a team of terrorists could beat security by carrying unassembled parts of a bomb past a checkpoint.

“Where one person will carry component A, the next person will carry component B, and they will meet together past the safety point, past the checkpoint and reassemble,” explained Mike White, the director of training for Michael Stapleton Associates and a former head of the NYPD bomb squad.

Officials say there is no specific intelligence that terrorists are preparing new attacks against America.

It would have helped to know more about the people involved with carrying around these shoes in Europe. I’m guessing they weren’t Irish Catholics.

You know what they say: If you see something, say something.

And as the last shoe-bomb incident taught us: Do something.

***

Flashback: The other shoe bomber.

Flashback: Maybe TSA should leave the nuns alone.

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Related: Annie Jacobsen on TSA’s bomb security duds.

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