Posts Tagged ‘airport’
Airport in Alabama shut over security scare (Reuters)
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 February 2011 06:57 Written by admin Sunday, 27 February 2011 06:57
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – Authorities shut down the airport at Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday due to a suspicious package, airport spokeswoman Toni Bast said.
“We have secured the terminal. Passengers are not able to get out of the terminal or (people) are not able to pick up passengers from the terminal,” Bast told Reuters, referring to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
Local media reported that an alert related to the package occurred at around 4:45 p.m. central time (2245 GMT), local media reported. Some passengers were allowed to leave the airport on foot after the alert, Bast said.
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and the southeastern state’s economic hub.
The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport is Alabama’s largest and serves the greater Birmingham area and surrounding southeastern cities, according to its website.
(Reporting by Peggy Gargis; Editing by Matthew Bigg and Paul Simao)
Failure to find airport bomb ‘a weakness’, expert says – BBC News
Last Updated on Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:04 Written by admin Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:04
31 October 2010
Last updated at 14:37 ET
The initial failure to find the bomb on a plane at East Midlands airport was a “weakness”, the independent reviewer of counter-terrorism laws has said.
Lord Carlile said technical equipment needed to be investigated to ensure it was “absolutely up to date”.
Home Secretary Theresa May has said the “crucial thing” was that the bomb had been found.
She has pledged to review air freight security after bombs were found on cargo jets in the UK and Dubai.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said UK investigators had at first declared the device “safe” before carrying out a re-examination as a “precaution”.
“We are not prepared to discuss further,” he added.
A female student arrested in Yemen on suspicion of posting the bombs bound for the US has now been freed, relatives are quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, US officials have said a Saudi-born bomb-maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, is the prime suspect for constructing the devices.
Lord Carlile told the BBC: “The one weakness I would identify from what we must regard as a success in recent days is that the technical equipment used at East Midlands Airport apparently did not detect the explosives at the first attempt.
“So we must have a look at the technology to ensure that it’s absolutely up to date.”
He said it would be unfeasible to check each of the thousands of parcels that fly in and out of UK airports but explosives sniffer dogs should used more extensively.
“The use of intelligence and good policing experience is the most important aspect of this,” he added.
Earlier, speaking on the BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Mrs May said: “Certainly, we have to look at our processes of searching and how we detect these devices.
“The crucial thing is we did find it and we were able to take action on it.
“What we have done is taken action in relation to future unaccompanied freight from the Yemen which would either be coming into the UK or through the UK, and banned that freight.”
The home secretary said it could not be determined if the bombers had planned to blow up the planes over the UK or US.
She said: “As I understand it, with these freight flights, sometimes the routing can change at the last minute so it is difficult for those who are planning the detonation to know exactly where the aircraft would be.”
She stressed that they were engaged in a “constant battle” with terrorists and said physical security was only one element of the UK’s defences alongside intelligence and police work.
A spokesman for Qatar Airways said the parcel found in Dubai travelled on two separate passenger planes via the airline’s hub in Doha.
Mr Cameron said the device found at East Midlands airport was designed to go off on the aircraft.
A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Cameron discussed the attempted terrorist plot with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on a two-day visit to the UK, and both pledged to maintain their “close and effective” counter-terrorism co-operation.
The British International Freight Association said there should be a review of all aspects of air cargo following the incident at East Midlands airport on Friday.
All flights should be profiled along with their passengers”
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Director general Peter Quantrill told the BBC: “The issue requires attention to look at systems and procedures – though it must be stressed that there are already well established, in depth and organised processes there.
“It was a very serious issue but it would be wrong to suggest that air freight security is not treated in the same way as passengers when it comes to security.”
The woman arrested in Yemen has been named by human rights groups as Hanan al-Samawi, 22.
The authorities initially described her as a medical student, but later reports said she was studying computer engineering at the University of Sanaa and had no known links to Islamist militants.
Dubai and UK officials say the bombs had the hallmarks of al-Qaeda.
The two packages were addressed to synagogues in the Chicago area. Both bombs were apparently inserted in printer cartridges.
How the alerts were raised (all times GMT):
• Thursday night: Saudi intelligence reportedly tips off MI6 about a cargo plot emanating from Yemen.
• Early hours of Friday morning: alert raised over UPS plane at East Midlands airport. Security cordon put in place, then lifted.
• 0900: suspect package found in Dubai. It was posted via freight firm FedEx.
• 1300: security cordon reinstated at East Midlands airport. Suspicious device sent for detailed examination.
• 1700: FBI says two suspect packages were addressed to religious buildings in Chicago.
• 1835: Emirates Flight 201 from Yemen via Dubai lands at JFK airport, New York, escorted by US fighter jets. The plane is carrying a package from Yemen.
• 1845: FedEx in Dubai confirms it has confiscated a suspect package sent from Yemen and is suspending all shipments from Dubai.
• Friday night: Three UPS flights investigated after landing at Newark, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. They all receive the all-clear after searches.