TSA boosts carry-on inspections after Paris terror attacks

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is conducting additional searches of airline passengers and their carry-on luggage after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the head of the Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday. 

“Last week the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) took steps to enhance the number of random searches of passengers and carry-on luggage boarding aircraft at U.S. airports,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. 

“Previously, in July, I directed enhanced screening at certain foreign airports that are last points of departure to the United States,” Johnson continued. “Since then, a number of foreign governments have themselves enhanced aviation security, buttressing and replacing our own measures at these airports. I have directed TSA to conduct an immediate, short-term review to determine whether more is necessary, at both domestic and overseas last-point of departure airports. These are just a few of the aviation security adjustments we have undertaken recently; we will not hesitate to take more when and if necessary, without unduly burdening the traveling public.” 

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The changes follow a series of attacks in France by Islamist extremists that resulted in 17 people being killed. The unrest started when two gunmen stormed satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday and continued with a siege of a kosher supermarket and the shooting of police officers. 

The three main suspects in the attacks were killed by police.

Johnson said Monday that in his announcement of a series of changes that “recent world events call for increased vigilance in homeland security. 

“We urge Americans to continue to travel, attend public events, and freely associate with others,” he said. “However, given world events, this is a time for heightened vigilance by federal, state and local governments, critical infrastructure owners and operators, as well as the public. “ 

-Elise Viebeck contributed to this report.