Red alert at Indian airports following hijack threat

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  1. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Red alert at Indian airports following hijack threat

    22 Jan 2010, 1340 hrs IST, IANS

    NEW DELHI: Security was further strengthened in airports across India Friday and sky marshals ordered on flights after intelligence reports that
    terror groups might target an Air India flight operating from a South Asian country.

    "As far as the ministry is concerned, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has issued a high-alert advisory to all carriers and airports across the country," a spokesperson for the civil aviation ministry said.

    "This requires security agencies, airlines and airport authorities to adopt the entire drill that is already specified for hijack alerts," the spokesperson said, adding that sky marshals on all planes and multi-point frisking were part of the drill.

    Sources in the aviation security agency said an alert was already on in view of Republic Day next week. Security had been enhanced after reports of a possible hijack of a flight from or going to a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) country.

    Air India spokesperson Jitender Bhargava said the intelligence reports were being looked into. "We are looking into the intelligence inputs. We are taking action accordingly," Bhargava told IANS.

    Official sources confirmed that a red alert has been sounded in airports across the country. Paramilitary forces have been deployed at all airports, especially in the north east, and army units near the airports asked to stand by.

    Last week the home ministry had asked seven states to remain fully alert to prevent any attempt by terrorists to disturb peace.

    The advisory was sent to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam besides Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi, asking the authorities there to take all precautionary measures to foil any possible terrorist attack.

    The civil aviation ministry has also advised all states to beef up security at all vital installations, while the home ministry has asked the states to take special measures to protect VIPs and other distinguished people at airports.

    Officials said the government regularly issues advisory to states, especially before Republic Day, Independence Day and major religious festivals, to remain on alert and take measures to thwart attempts of militant organisations and Maoists.

    The threat to state-run carrier Air India is always higher compared to private airlines, officials said.

    Red alert at Indian airports following hijack threat- Airlines / Aviation-Transportation-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
     
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  3. plugwater

    plugwater Elite Member Elite Member

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    Para-gliders likely in suicide attacks, warns government

    First came the warning from the Home Ministry that terrorists may try to hijack an Air India plane. Hours later followed another alert.

    That intelligence inputs suggest that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has purchased para-gliders and its members are training for suicide attacks. Fifty para-gliders have reportedly been bought from Europe.

    The Home Ministry has asked all security forces to carry out mock drills to deal with these.

    In response to the alert against a possible hijacking by the LeT, security at all airports has been upgraded, says the Civil Aviation Ministry. (Read: Air India planes put on high alert)

    When contacted, spokespersons of leading carriers like Air India and Jet Airways said they had already put in place all recommendations by the government. This includes placing sky marshals on certain routes and introduction of frisking at step-ladders as an additional precautionary measure.

    "We have intelligence inputs that there could be a hijack attempt of Indian planes. So we have alerted the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and tightened security in all airports in the country," said UK Bansal, Special Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

    Information shared with India, allegedly by Western agencies, suggest that terrorists affiliated with the Al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat-ul-Dawa were planning to hijack an Air India plane operating in or from neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Para-gliders likely in suicide attacks, warns government
     

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