Just days after the first such threat did not translate into an attack, ground handling staff found two more messages warning of an ISIS attack scribbled in the men’s washrooms of the airport yesterday.
Writing on the wall: The threats scribbled in two washrooms in terminal 1 A of the airport
While the January 6 message was scribbled in the washroom of T2 and warned of an attack on January 10, yesterday’s messages were found in cubicles of two washrooms of terminal 1 A (used by Air India and Go Air flights) and warned that an attack will take place on Republic Day.
Found by ground handling staff in two washrooms in the arrivals section — one near the VIP lounge and the other near the Air India office near the staff gate (city side) — around 6.30 pm yesterday, both messages mention ISIS. While one of them is clear and reads ‘ISIS 26/01/2015 is BOM ok’ (with a plane drawn next to it), officials are still trying to decipher what the other message says.
Security beefed up
While the chances of the messages being hoaxes and imitations of the January 6 message are high, security agencies are not taking the threats lightly, especially in view of the high alert across the country on Republic Day. “Though this message cannot and is not being taken lightly, after looking at the scribbled message in T2 in the first week of this month, there is a possibility of someone sounding a hoax alarm,” said an airport security official.
As soon as the messages were found, the Airport Police Station, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) were alerted. Officials said that the sniffer dogs, who usually take rounds in shifts, will now go over every nook and cranny of the terminal twice as many times as they did until Wednesday.
“The terminal is already under watch after Air India received threat and hijack calls earlier this month. After the T2 message, security was beefed up and today’s messages will ensure that the security will be strengthened even further, especially on the city side,” said a senior security official.
In an exclusive, mid-day had reported on January 7 about the message mentioning an attack by ISIS at the Mumbai airport on January 10.
Mumbai: Terror threat on men's toilet wall rattles T2
The words'CSI ATTECK BY ISIS DATE 10/01/15' were noticed by staffers in the men’s washroom located on the east side of Level 2 in the arrivals lounge of Terminal 2.