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Thermoses, coffee cups added to list of possible terrorist weapons

During the busiest travel season of the year, travelers carrying thermoses or beverage cups – which could be used to conceal explosive materials – may be subject to extra scrutiny.

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'Santa Claus' Larry Durian is screened by TSA agents before entering a secure area of the Akron Canton Airport in Green, Ohio. He planned to spend seven hours at the airport greeting passengers for their customer appreciation day.

Scott Heckel/The Repository/AP

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Airline travelers this holiday season have one more thing to think about: whether to pack or carry a thermos bottle or beverage cup.

On one of the busiest travel days of the year, federal officials have alerted travelers to the likelihood of extra scrutiny regarding such items – which could be used to conceal explosive materials.

“Passengers traveling with insulated beverage containers can expect to see additional screening of these items using procedures currently in place, including X-ray screening, physical inspection and the use of explosives trace detection technology,” states an advisory issued Thursday night by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

IN PICTURES: Airport security

Officials note no specific threat regarding thermos bottles and cups. But the warning to Christmas Eve travelers and others flying on airliners over the winter holidays – 43.6 million people, according to the Air Transport Association of America – comes as part of a broader official effort regarding airport and airline security.

The year has seen a number of specific threats and foiled terrorist attempts, beginning with the “underwear bomber” on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit last Christmas.

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