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Bomb plot shows gaps in screening of air cargo

Plan to boost security is years behind schedule

By Thomas Frank, Alan Levin and Kevin Johnson

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration boasts that every piece of cargo carried on domestic passenger flights is screened for bombs before being put in the belly of an airliner.

However, when it comes to ensuring the security of cargo packages on foreign flights heading to the United States, the TSA makes no such proclamations. Despite federal law requiring all cargo on U.S.-bound passenger flights to be screened as of August, authorities still aren't close to meeting the requirement.

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