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Homeland Security in Alabama - UPDATED

By Butler Cain, Alabama Public Radio

Tuscaloosa, AL – Jim Walker, director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, spoke with Alabama Public Radio's Butler Cain Thursday morning (8/10) about the terrorism arrests in the United Kingdom, how they are affecting the U.S. air industry, and what Alabamians should know about the current situation. You can hear the interview by clicking on the "Listen" link above. The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has issued a public advisory concerning the security issues affecting air travelers. The advisory is posted below.

August 10, 2006 (Montgomery, AL) The US Department of Homeland Security has raised the terrorist threat level for the aviation sector as a result of the ongoing investigation regarding the terror plot in the UK. As a result of the heightened levels airports are expanding the intensity of existing security requirements. Citizens may experience delays at security checkpoints and should plan additional time for the process.

Governor Bob Riley is monitoring the situation with Alabama homeland security officials and urges Alabama travelers to be extra vigilant. Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Jim Walker stated, While there are not specific threats to Alabama targets, citizens should be increasingly aware of their surroundings and vigilant during this period.

The heightened threat level requires implementing the following changes to airport screening procedures by Transportation Security Administration:

NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency.

Exception: Baby formula, breast milk, or juice if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger's ticket; and insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines

Beverages purchased in the sterile area must be consumed before boarding because they will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. Passengers traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. will be subject to a more extensive screening process.

Traveling citizens can assist with the additional security requirements by:

Packing lightly, without clutter to facilitate easier screening.

Check with your air carrier well before your flight departs for information on when you should arrive at the airport.

Cooperating with TSA personnel at all checkpoints and gates because TSA Security Officers will be checking carry-on baggage at the gate.

Being attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity.

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