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New airline security measures apply to AMC travelers

SAN ANTONIO -- Airline travelers are facing new security measures at the nation's airports today that promise to disrupt flights and cause a domino affect around the world.

The Department of Homeland Security increased airport and air travel security measures in response to a foiled plot by extremist to blow up aircraft bound from the United Kingdom to the United States. There are about 106 daily flights per day between the countries.

The same measures apply to people traveling on any Air Mobility Command-chartered aircraft, a command spokesman at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., said.

"Air Mobility Command follows (Transportation Security Agency) guidelines," the spokesman said.

The command is also working to release more details on any new guidelines that may affect travelers on AMC charters and military aircraft, he said.

Homeland Security officials raised the threat level to red for all flights from the United Kingdom to U.S. airports. It also raised the threat level to orange for all other commercial flights bound for American airports.

British police arrested 21 suspects in connection with the plot, which might have targeted up to 10 aircraft. The nation's security threat level is now at its highest -- critical.

"Over the last few hours, British authorities have arrested a significant number of extremists engaged in a substantial plot to destroy multiple passenger aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement today.

"Currently, there is no indication, however, of plotting within the United States," he said. "We believe that these arrests have significantly disrupted the threat, but we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted."

At the same event, FBI Director Robert Mueller Well said, "This had the earmarks of an al Qaeda plot."

As part of the new measures, passengers will not be able carry certain items on aircraft. Banned from carry-on luggage are any kinds of liquids or gels, like beverages, hand and suntan lotions, toothpaste, hair gels, creams or similar items.

Passengers can carry medications, but must have a prescription with a name that matches the name on the airline ticket. They also can carry insulin and other essential non-prescription medicines. And parents can bring baby formula, breast milk or juice on board.