Commissioner Kelly: Most Cargo Not Screened
NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Security was heightened Saturday at all three local airports, following Friday’s terror plot that prompted authorities to search planes and trucks across the globe for possible explosives.
The Department of Homeland Security said it was stepping up airline security, but White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Americans did not need to change their travel plans.
“What we’re doing now is watching every package that emanates from Yemen and we’re working very closely with our international partners…who were an important part of detecting this particular plot,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Saturday.
Most passengers at JFK that spoke with 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney said they felt safe.
1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney reports from JFK
“I think security is pretty good, so, I’m not concerned,” one woman said.
“They have the drill down to a science now and if there’s something going on — they’ll locate and they’ll find the people that are the culprits,” another man said.
However, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly revealed the difficulty of the screening process, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports on Kelly’s comments
“We have a huge amount of cargo that comes into this country and some of it is screened, but most of it is not screened,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Kelly is a former US Customs commissioner and added “some cargo is checked overseas by people working for the US government, but it’s still a major challenge.”
On Friday, federal agents searched three UPS parcel planes at Newark Liberty and Philadelphia for possible suspicious packages from Yemen.
No explosives were found.
At Kennedy Airport, Emirates Airlines Flight 201 carrying cargo from Yemen was escorted by military fighter jets as a precaution.
Passengers said they knew nothing about the situation until they landed at JFK, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported Friday.
“Were there fighter jets, really? I didn’t notice that at all,” David Packles told reporters including CBS 2’s Derrick Dennis.
“The only thing that was a little bit different was once we got off the plane, there were cops just all over the place. Seemed like they were waiting for us,” Packles said.
“Thank God the security is good and we landed safely — so it’s all good you know,” Rajiv Singh told D’Auria.
The terror plot came just days after the Transportation Security Administration unveiled new security screening methods.
New, more intrusive full body pat downs were made mandatory for anyone who sets off a metal detector, or refuses to walk through the high tech full body x-ray scanner, which produces revealing images of the naked body.