If you're planning on traveling to Russia for the Sochi Olympics, don't pack any toiletries in your carry-on luggage.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced
Thursday that it is banning all liquids, gels, aerosols and powders from
carry-on luggage on flights to Russia.
The worry is that teams of operatives could smuggle those tubes on board a plane along with other component parts and then assemble an improvised explosive device while the plane is in flight, U.S. officials said.
They said the potential threat is aimed at Russia and Sochi, where the Olympic opening ceremonies will be held Friday. There was no specific threat made against the United States or Americans, U.S. officials said.
Russia responded by announcing Wednesday that no liquids would be allowed on carry-on luggage on flights in that country.
The TSA normally allows passengers to bring 3-ounce containers of liquid or gel on board planes in their carry-on items, but even that small amount will be banned on flights to Russia.
Delta Airlines is the only
U.S. carrier with a direct flight from the United States to Moscow.
"The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has directed that no
liquids, gels, aerosols and powders of any size be permitted
onboard flights between the United States and the Russian Federation
in any passenger cabin of service. These items may be placed in customers'
checked baggage. Prescription medications will be allowed," Delta said in a statement on its website.
While Russia says it has established a "ring of steel" around the Olympic venues, there have been widespread concerns that Muslim militants from the Caucasus could attack the games.
Russian authorities have issued wanted posters for so-called "black widows," women whose husbands, brothers or fathers have been killed by Russian security forces and may be seeking revenge.
The Olympic host city is located just a few hundred miles from Dagestan, which along with neighboring Chechnya, is home to an Islamic insurgency that has been battling Russian forces for years.
The State Department has advised Americans traveling to the Olympics to "remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times."