Britain’s airports and nuclear power stations have been placed on terror alert, following warnings that Islamist terror groups pose a heightened threat to electronic security systems.
Fearing hackers from ISIS and other terror groups have found a way to bypass safety checks, intelligence agencies have issued a series of alerts to UK airports in the past 24 hours.
Security sources reported by The Telegraph claim fears that ISIS and other Islamist groups could have developed ways to plant explosives in laptops and mobile phones which can evade airport security screening methods.
The intelligence is believed to be behind the US and Britain’s decision to ban travellers from a number of people from Muslim majority countries carrying laptops and large electronic devices onboard commercial planes.
Security experts fear that terrorists developed the technology after getting hold of airport screening equipment that allowed them to experiment.
The FBI have tested how it’s possible for explosives to be hidden inside laptop battery compartments in a way that can still be switched on, to fool airport security.
“We had the shoe bomber, cartridge attempt, now this is the next level. We need to be several steps ahead of them,” former FBI special agent Manny Gomez said.
The US Department of Homeland Security said in a statement: “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in electronics.
“The US government continually reassesses existing intelligence and collects new intelligence. This allows us to constantly evaluate our aviation security processes and policies and make enhancements when they are deemed necessary to keep passengers safe.”
There are also fears that computer hackers could breach security measures in nuclear power stations, with the UK government warning that “hacktivists” and foreign spies are seeking to exploit what they said are “vulnerabilities” in security systems.
Energy minister Jesse Norman told the Telegraph that nuclear plants must ensure that “remain resilient to evolving cyber threats.”
The warnings come as Britain remains on a “severe” state of terror alert following the Westminster attack, in which Muslim convert Khalid Masood mowed down crowds with a vehicle and stabbed a police officer, killing four people and injuring more than fifty.