U.S. to call for increased security at foreign airports, officials say

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC/ABC) — The Department of Homeland Security is expected to call for heightened security measures at strategic foreign airports that have direct flights to the U.S., aviation and government officials told ABC News in the wake of the Russian airline tragedy.

In addition to the requests expected to be made at last point of departure airports, other security measures being discussed include more diligent baggage screenings at major domestic U.S. airports. That could potentially include matching of luggage to manifest lists before takeoff.

On Thursday, President Obama appeared to make reference to airport security when he said he thought there was a “possibility” that a bomb may have brought down the Russian airliner this weekend in Egypt, killing more than 200 people.

“I don’t think we know yet” what caused the crash, Obama told CBS affiliate KIRO Radio. “Whenever you’ve got a plane crash, first of all you’ve got the tragedy, you’ve got making sure there’s an investigation on site. I think there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board. And we are taking that very seriously… We’re going to spend a lot of time making sure our own investigators and our own intelligence community figures out exactly what’s going on before we make any definitive pronouncements. But it is certainly possible that there was a bomb on board.”

The president’s comments follow a chorus of top U.S. officials who have said in recent days that an explosive device could be to blame for the crash that killed 224 people, though no definitive assessment has been made.

8News reporter Jonathan Costen is working to learn what the new measures will mean for us locally. Watch his full report tonight on 8News at 5.

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