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Indian airports beef up security over terrorism threats

July 26, 2013 Airport, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Mumbai’s primary international airport has increased security after Indian intelligence agencies received reports of possible terror attacks at seven major Indian airports.

Mumbai-based daily newspaper DNA reports that Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai is taking action and other airports on the list are expected to follow suit. The other airports are Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Guwahati.Centara

Reports said that although the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF; a central armed police force in India) and local police were saying little, “sources say that security agencies suspect the next terror attack could take place with a relatively unknown explosive”.

Aircraft hijacking was another possibility, sources added.

CSIA in Mumbai is among the busiest airports in Asia, handling 31 million passengers last year. Mumbai suffered a major terrorist attack in 2008, when Lashkar-e-Taiba (a terrorist organisation of Islamist fanatics) conducted 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks in the city, killing 162 people.

Security agencies are also concerned that Juhu airport near the Arabian Sea might used to stage an attack.

“The porous boundary wall and the areas near the slum which surrounds the airport can give an easy access to anti-social elements,” an airport security official told the paper.

Meanwhile, a committee of various security agencies at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has warned of possible threats from man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) – shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles – which could be used to hit planes on the runway.

MANPADS are a threat to low-flying aircraft, especially helicopters, the Indian Express reported.

The committee suggested that all areas offering a direct line of sight to the runway and taxiway be considered potential MANPAD launch sites.

Written by : Peter Needham

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