The Sochi Winter Olympics begin on Thursday and the United States government is concerned for the safety of planes heading to Russia.
A warning has been issued to local and international agencies that toothpaste containers could be used to smuggle bomb-making ingredients onto airplanes, according to a report from ABC News. There is no specific terror threat at this time, but a senior U.S. official told ABC that the warning is part of increased vigilance leading up to the Winter Olympics.
"While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority," the official said. "As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment."
This heightened vigilance is attributed partly due to a series of suicide bombings in Russia by Islamic militants that told followers to attempt to disrupt the Olympics, which they view as an affront to the region. The Unites States government is taking these threats very seriously, posting warships in the Black Sea to act as a deterrent and evacuate U.S. Citizens from Sochi if necessary.
Rep. Peter King of New York is taking the threat of a toothpaste bomb very seriously given the possibility a small explosive device causing large-scale damage in the air.
"Any type of explosive, concealed explosive, can be extremely damaging," King, R-N.Y., told CNN. "It could be enough to bring down a plane... This is the type of threat that we're very concerned about."
Olympic competition begins on Thursday, and the Opening Ceremony is Friday night.