Days after UKs Heathrow Airport was put on high alert amid fears that Al Qaedas women suicide bombers may target the location with explosives concealed in breast implants,security agencies in India have put all airports on high alert citing the same threat.
Security personnel at the airports have been asked to double check women passengers from now on since Indias airports still do not have full body scanners to detect explosives concealed in such a manner.
The greatest concern,officials said,was respecting the privacy of passengers.
The Heathrow Airport is equipped with full body scanners that can detect any explosives or metal hidden inside the body. In the absence of such technological support,the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials have a tough task at hand.
We are working on ways to devise a method to identify such explosives. We are trying to coordinate with international agencies; nobody has been able to come out with a foolproof solution for such threats, said R R Verma,SDG (airports),CISF.
Officials said they have asked security personnel to conduct vigorous security checks while making sure they maintain a level of decency in their conduct.
It is a sensitive issue and we have apprised our women personnel to be particularly alert. Any kind of explosives embedded in implants that do not have a metal component cannot be detected. We are devising ways to address this threat, said the officer.
He added they were seeking the help of international agencies to know the exact nature of the threat posed by the improvised explosive devices concealed in implants.
We are going through proper diplomatic channels to get any extra information on such IEDs. The dynamics are changing and we have to keep pace with new technologies, he said.
A high-level meeting of all stakeholders involved in airport security was convened last week to discuss this particular threat.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS),the security regulator for airports in the country,is also working to address this threat.
Last week,The Mirror reported that Al Qaedas chief bomb-maker,Ibrahim al-Asiri,had developed a method to deceive airport scanners by concealing explosives in an implant or body cavity.
Security beefed up in Tamil nadu following anonymous call
Chennai/Rameswaram: Security in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu has been further beefed up following an anonymous telephone call about infiltration of terrorists,days after an intelligence alert that they could sneak in from Sri Lanka and attack Madurai,Mayiladuthurai and Rameswaram in the state.
Police Sunday said a constable attached to Maniyachi station in Tuticorin district received the call Saturday,with the caller,purportedly speaking from Sri Lanka,claiming that 32 terrorists had sneaked into the state. Sri Lankan officials have been asked to trace the call,police said,adding that security has been further tightened in coastal areas,including Chennai,Tuticorin,Mandapam and Nagapattinam. PTI