LAHORE – The self-styled terrorist group ‘Islamic State’ is planning armed attacks including hijacking at airports by using some low-ranking staff, officials warned Wednesday.
Pakistan International Airlines’ chief security officer on Wednesday issued a circular titled “Daesh pursuing aviation plot” to Lahore’s airport manager and suggested “additional screening measures” for passengers and electronics items of personal use.
For authorities, the most worrisome factor is that the terrorist group has reportedly acquired the kind of security equipment installed at airports to test devices for bypassing security for possible terror attacks.
According to the letter, a copy of which is available with The Nation, the terrorists may evade screenings at airports by using latest devices.
“Daesh is planning to target commercial aviation using pilots, flight crew and ground staff. Now it has been reliably learnt that it [Daesh] has developed a multi layered programme of conducting aviation operation including hijackings, arm attacks as well as detonation of aircrafts using concealed IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). Daesh has also acquired the security equipment to test devices for aviation attacks which would be used to check detectability of IEDs concealed in luggage… or in [items of] personal electronics”.
The latest warning comes when country’s airports are already placed on high alert amid security threats.
Although government denies presence of any Daesh footprint on Pakistani soil yet Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a Taliban offshoot having links to the ISIS, claimed responsibility for most of the lethal bombings across Pakistan in recent years.
The authorities have directed the relevant quarters to take required action including additional screening measures for passengers and personnel electronics to preempt any misadventure in this regard.
This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 24-Aug-2017 here.