Officials say the warning is not in response to a specific threat but has been issued through an abundance of caution. (Reuters)

The Department of Homeland Security  warned airlines Wednesday about a potential new shoe-bomb threat, asking them to be extra vigilant about flights heading to the United States from abroad, according to an NBC News report.

NBC said several officials familiar with the advisory had said “very recent intelligence” warns of possible plots to attack passenger planes using explosives hidden in shoes. A bulletin urged screeners to use explosive-detection swabs to check travelers’ shoes, according to the report.

Security officers may also increase pat-downs and full-body screening, NBC said.

Homeland Security confirmed the alert Wednesday, but the agency released a statement saying: “Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners about relevant threat information as we work to meet our mission of keeping the traveling public safe. These types of regular communications are part of that important priority. Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment.”

DHS released that same statement Feb. 6 after placing a temporary ban on carry-on liquids, gels, aerosols and powders for travelers flying between the United States and Russia. That move came in response to concerns about potential terror attacks at the Winter Olympics.

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