Airports across Europe, Africa and the Middle East which offer direct flights to the US are stepping up security measures in response to a request from the US. In a statement, homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson confirmed that he had directed the Transport Security Administration to “implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports”. The UK department for transport has confirmed that security measure will be stepped up, but wouldn’t confirm any details of the changes. Media reports suggest that the extra measures focus on inspecting electrical equipment and people, and that there will be no change to what passengers can take onto flights. The tightening of security measures follows a CNN report this week that the US authorities are concerned that al-Qaeda is developing bombs designed to avoid detection by airport screening.