Sunday’s terrorist attack on Glasgow International Airport in Scotland has left many American travelers concerned about summer travel. After all, if a burning Jeep can ram into an airport in the U.K., many wonder if the same thing—or worse—could happen here.
For now, Homeland Security‘s five-stage “security threat level” for U.S. airports remains unchanged at orange (fourth stage), indicating a high risk for terrorist attack, while the national level is at yellow (third), or “elevated.” The U.K. raised its level to “critical.”
Though the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, says there is “no specific credible evidence” for an attack against the U.S., transportation security has been ramped up ahead of the Fourth of July. Security at mass transit and rail locations is now tighter, and more U.S. air marshals are aboard flights to the U.K.
Heightened security was evidenced in Sunday’s evacuation of the American terminal at New York’s JFK International Airport due to a suspicious (and ultimately harmless) package.
This summer, you can likely expect similar treatment of unattended bags or packages at airports, as officials tend to take a “better safe than sorry” approach to possible threats. While many supposed “terror plots” are overblown in my opinion, the Glasgow attack was a genuine threat, and enough to warrant heightened security in the U.K., and increased awareness at home.