(George Frey/Reuters) (George Frey/Reuters)

The Transportation Security Administration on Thursday placed a temporary ban on carry-on liquids, gels, aerosols and powders for travelers flying between the United States and Russia, following concerns about potential terrorist attacks at the Winter Olympic Games.

The Department of Homeland Security issued warnings yesterday to U.S. airlines that terrorists may try to conceal explosives in toothpaste tubes and cosmetic containers in order to disrupt the sporting events this month in Sochi, Russia.

A DHS official said the agency does not know of a specific threat at this time, but that it regularly shares information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with the games, as part of its commitment to security.

House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul said during a CNN interview on Wednesday: “The terror threat has been around for several days. I find it to be very specific and credible.”

The DHS official declined to provide further details about the ban or the warnings, but said the department uses measures “seen and unseen” to protect Americans from ever-evolving threats, including intelligence gathering, random canine searches, temporary restrictions, and using federal air marshals and new technologies. 

As part of the new TSA policy, passengers heading to Russia will have to check in personally at the airport with airline representatives, as they will be prohibited from doing so online, through their mobile devices or at kiosks, according to an announcement from Delta Air Lines.

Airport screeners will still allow passengers to carry on prescription medications, the announcement said.

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