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European airports tighten security

American Airlines planes
Almost 200 people were on board Flight 63  


PARIS, France -- Airports across Europe have tightened security after a suspected suicide bomber boarded a transatlantic flight from Paris to Miami.

French border police have opened an urgent inquiry how the man - said by the FBI to have explosives in his shoes - evaded security checks at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

And security chiefs in a number of other European countries are looking at their own security in the wake of the attempted bombing of American Airlines Flight 63.

The France Ministry said it would deploy more police, customs agents and security men immediately.

RESOURCES
U.S. airspace: The flight risk 
 

More manual checks would also be carried out of passengers on U.S.-bound and other international flights, it said.

Switzerland's Zurich airport is to introduce extra controls from Christmas Day and require all passengers on U.S. airlines to remove their shoes to be X-rayed along with carry-on luggage.

Shoe checks will also be more rigorously carried out in Austria, a spokeswoman for Vienna's international airport told The Associated Press news agency.

Dagmar Lang, the spokeswoman, said security officers were already trained to check the shoes of passengers.

In the UK a spokesman for Heathrow airport said passengers were liable to a range of thorough searches including checks on shoes where necessary.

"Security has remained at a high level at Heathrow since September 11 with a higher police presence, additional patrolling and extra checks on passengers and baggage, he told the UK's Press Association.

He said BAA security staff were highly trained in searching for all prohibited items and had equipment to detect explosives.

In Italy Pierluigi Di Palma, general director of the National Civil Aviation Entity (ENAC), told Corriere della Sera daily he had nevertheless issued a "maximum alert" order.

In the U.S. the Federal Aviation Administration has announced all U.S. airports are now required to add random shoe checks of passengers to the already established practice of random baggage checks.

Flight crew and passengers overpowered the man -- identified as Richard Reid -- as he tried to ignite a fuse in his trainers.

He has been charged with interfering with the performance of the duties of flight crew members by assault or intimidation.

The plane, carrying more than 180 passengers, 12 crew members, was diverted to Boston's Logan International airport, under fighter jet escort, where it landed safely and Reid was arrested.



 
 
 
 


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