UK & World News
UK Airport Security Tightened Amid Bomb Fears
Security is being tightened at UK airports, with extra checks on electrical items amid fears of new terrorist bombs.
Sky sources say passengers travelling to America may have battery-operated goods examined by officials after the main security gate.
And officials have told the Reuters news agency that airlines are being asked to single out iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones for extra security checks.
The new precautions come in response to requests from US authorities, who fear attacks on planes flying to America.
In particular, US officials have warned of a "specific threat" to Entebbe Airport in Uganda later today.
The US embassy in Kampala said Ugandan police had informed them that intelligence sources believe there could be an attack by an unknown terrorist group.
In a statement, the embassy said the threat was apparently aimed for "today, July 3rd, between the hours of 2100-2300".
It added: "Individuals planning travel through the airport this evening may want to review their plans in light of this information."
Although the embassy did not name any group, al Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents have claimed recent attacks in Kenya and Djibouti, and at home in Somalia.
Ugandan Army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said troops had been deployed at the airport and in the capital, around 20 miles (35km) from Entebbe.
"People must be vigilant in the face of this threat, report any suspicious individuals seen in their areas," he said, calling on people to "stay calm and alert."
US Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson said he had asked officials to "implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States".
A statement issued by the US Department for Homeland Security said: "We are sharing recent and relevant information with our foreign allies and consulting the aviation industry.
"These communications are an important part of our commitment to providing our security partners with situational awareness about the current environment and protecting the travelling public."
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the additional security was not expected to cause "significant" disruption to flights.
He told Sky News: "There will be extra security checks but they will be made in the course of events people already go through and I hope there will not be significant delays."
But British aviation security expert Philip Baum said heightened security will inevitably mean longer queues and increased waiting times to board flights at UK airports.
"It will mean (more) random searches, secondary searches and an increase in the number of passengers asked to remove shoes and possibly all passengers being asked to remove shoes if they're going on certain flights," he said.
US officials said their general security warning followed intelligence reports that Islamist groups in Yemen and Syria had joined forces to prepare an attack on the US.
Bomb-makers from al Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, and Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are believed by American authorities to be working together to develop the new devices.
According to ABC News, they are trying to build non-metallic bombs that could evade metal detectors.
As a result, security enhancements are likely to include greater scrutiny of US-bound passengers' electronics and footwear and installation of additional bomb-detection machines.