If they were serious then this article from 1995 surrounding the Clinton administration's foiling of the plot the to blow up American airliners would have played some signifigance in the post 9/11 "increased security". The following is from February, 1995 and I have highlighted the main point.
The U.S. government imposed its tightest security ever Friday on airlines flying from several destinations in Europe and Africa after a raid on a suspected terrorist group in the Philippines uncovered bombs and airline itineraries. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration declined to identify which airports were subject to the stepped-up security.Just take this little token of information into consideration as you digest the news.
The U.S. State Department said the action was considered sufficient to counter the perceived threat. Foreign carriers flying to the United States were also imposing the measures. Many of the measures have been kept secret for security reasons and will not be apparent to passengers, but officials said they included body checks, thorough inspection of all hand luggage and tighter scrutiny of checked luggage. Airlines were also told to scan gels, aerosols and liquids that could be explosives in disguise. In addition, cargo operators were told to tighten security.