WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Militants may be planning to use a surgically implanted bomb to blow up a commercial flight, though there is no indication that an attack is imminent, a U.S. security official said on Wednesday.
U.S. authorities have warned their counterparts abroad as well as air carriers about the new intelligence on the possibility of such an attack and were taking steps to boost security.
"The Department of Homeland Security has identified a potential threat from terrorists who may be considering surgically implanting explosives or explosive components in humans to conduct terrorist attacks," the advisory to foreign counterparts said according to the U.S. security official.
Such a threat is likely to come from overseas rather than domestically, the official said, but said precautionary steps are being taken internationally and in the United States.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that there was no indication that a threat was imminent.
"As a precaution, passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place," said Nicholas Kimball, a spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
U.S. officials have been on high alert after American forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May, ramping up security at airports, government buildings and other facilities in case of a retaliatory strike.
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Doina Chiacu)