House panel to probe foreign airport security

House panel to probe foreign airport security
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Lawmakers in the House are planning to probe next week the security of foreign airports that are the last points of departure for flights to the U.S. after the recent crash of a Russian plane in Egypt. 

The House Homeland Security Committee's Transportation Security subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Dec. 8 titled "Examining TSA’s Global Efforts To Protect The Homeland From Aviation Threats And Enhance Security At Last Point Of Departure Airports."

Officials with the panel said the hearing will allow lawmakers to examine the Transportation Security Administration's efforts to secure airports that are last points of departure for flights coming into the U.S., after a Metrojet Airlines flight was brought down by a bomb in late October that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken credit for.  

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"As the last line of defense between foreign countries and U.S. soil, the security effectiveness of overseas airports are of critical importance to American aviation," the panel said in a statement. 

"In the wake of the Metrojet tragedy and in light of enhanced security at airports around the world, this hearing will be an examination of efforts to bolster security at airports serving as last points of departure to the United States," the statement continued.

The downed Metrojet flight was a Russian Airbus A321 that crashed last month in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. The plane broke up at 33,000 feet, out of range of anti-air weaponry, indicating a bomb may have been placed onboard before take-off.

Lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee are scheduled to hear testimony on Tuesday from TSA officials and representatives of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization.