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South Florida Travelers On Edge Over “Belly Bomb” Threat

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A passenger books a flight at Miami International Airport.  (CBS4)

A passenger books a flight at Miami International Airport. (CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBS4) — A new warning from the U.S. government has South Florida air travelers on edge. Homeland Security officials are warning airlines that some al Qaeda operatives in Yemen are considering surgically implanting explosives into humans to carry out attacks.

“They can do anything!” said Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport passenger Christine Field. “Nothing is beyond the limits of a person who wants to do evil. “

There is no intelligence pointing to a specific plot, but the U.S. has shared this information with executives at domestic and international carriers.

The Transportation Security Administration says that people traveling to the U.S. from overseas may experience additional screening at airports. South Florida security expert Wayne Black says this seems to be a natural progression for terrorists.

“We’ve gone from using the plane, to shoe bombs, Richard Reid, the underwear bomb and now belly bomb,” said Black. “These guys are not going to quit ever, so we just have to be more prepared.”

Placing explosives and explosive components inside humans is not a new idea. But a U.S. security official says there is new intelligence pointing to a fresh interest in using this tactic. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security information.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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