U.S. to ban some toner, ink cartridges from flights

By Reuters
Posted Nov. 8, 2010 at 1:19 p.m.

The Obama administration on Monday banned all cargo shipments to the United States from Somalia, expanding a ban imposed initially on shipments from Yemen in the wake of a recent foiled bomb plot.

Two weeks ago, authorities in Dubai and the United Kingdom intercepted two bombs hidden in toner cartridges destined for the United States from Yemen via FedEx and United Parcel Service after a tip from Saudi Arabia.

In addition to the expanded cargo ban, the Department of Homeland Security also prohibited toner and ink cartridges over 16 ounces from any U.S. passenger flights, domestic or international, bound for the United States.

The al Qaeda affiliate based in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the plot.

After the bombs were found, U.S. authorities quickly banned cargo shipments from Yemen and now are zeroing in on toner cartridges as the newest method for the group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to launch attacks against the United States.

Somalia has also been a haven for anti-American militants.

“The threats of terrorism we face are serious and evolving, and these security measures reflect our commitment to using current intelligence to stay ahead of adversaries,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

The ban on toner and ink cartridges will also apply to certain international cargo flights to the United States and all cargo that is deemed high risk will have to go through additional screening, she said.

The new security measures take effect immediately. Industry carriers were advised of the new requirements last week, Napolitano said.

Last week the head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, went to Yemen to meet with officials there about cargo security and toured a cargo facility in Sanaa.

TSA, which is responsible for U.S. cargo and aviation security and is part of DHS, has come under renewed scrutiny after the attempted toner cartridge bombs. Some U.S. lawmakers have called on the agency to improve screening of cargo.

The al Qaeda affiliate also claimed responsibility for the foiled bombing attempt by a Nigerian man who hid explosives in his underwear and tried to detonate them during a flight on a U.S. airliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit last Christmas.

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  1. Innocent_III Nov. 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Isn’t there a saying about the horse and the barn door?

    Surely, there are plenty of objects that could be used to hide explosives– stuffed toys, desktop computers and printers, larger electronic test equipment– the list is nearly endless.

  2. adam Nov. 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    How about banning shoes and under ware too?
    This country is out of control!

  3. Some Guy Nov. 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    So if someone puts a bomb in a bible, the solution is to ban bibles from flights too?

    That is giving too much power to terrorists.

  4. nancy Nov. 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    adam? uh, that would be underwear.

    I leave it to the experts in security to know what should and should not be shipped, not the goofs that have no clue.

  5. Brian Nov. 8, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Everyone should be strip searched, check their clothing, and wear disposable paper gowns and slippers on planes. There should be no carry-on baggage whatsoever. Seating should be molded fiberglass like in the back of a police squad car and have self-contained bathroom facilities so no passenger would need to leave their seat. This would then allow plexiglass boxes to be constructed around each seating area that would be locked and unlocked by flight attendants like the safety bar on a tilt-a-whirl at a carnival. Feel safe yet?

  6. Freddie G Nov. 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm


    After banning and confiscating shampoo, toothpast and nail clippers, and acting upon suggestions from a grateful public, Barack Hussein Obama, Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder have announced new travel restrictions on planes, trains and automobiles.

    Effective immediately, all passengers on the above are prohibited from wearing underwear and shoes/sandals. Of course this proscription will have no impact on residnts of the bankrupt states of Illinois, California and New York. Residents of these states couldn’t find their “behind”(sic) if their lives depended on it as they have always prefered to have everyone else pay for their ignorance.


    The horses who have left the barn after the dems left the door open.

  7. Freddie G Sucks Nov. 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Hey Freddie G. Try coming up with an original thought of your own instead of parroting what the other posters already said in an unfunny faux news article. You are the reason the terrorists hate us.

  8. Arthur Nov. 9, 2010 at 5:41 a.m.

    So what happens to the toner that is bought by a passenger to the airport?
    I have bought toner with me as I travel outside of america to my home island. Toner for my xerox printer cost $1200 on my island and in the USA the same toner cost me half that amount. So according to this new no advance warning’ toner ban rule, yesterday would I be expected to just dump my $600 worth of tone in a trash can along with the water bottles and other banned liquids or would I be expected to leave the airport (miss my flight)and find a FEDEX or UPS and ship them to my destination? Oh no that would not work as they use planes to fly their cargo. Hmmmm I can always ship them by cargo boat to my island but that will take at least a week or more to receive them at an extra cost.