Mumbai airport on alert after al-Qaeda letter threatens blasts

Updated: Dec 03, 2014, 11:50 IST | Neha LM Tripathi |

Sources say intelligence agency has received a letter from the terror group, threatening serial bomb blasts in different parts of the country

Passengers travelling from Mumbai airport will have to undergo more scrutiny in the coming days, after airport authorities received an alert from intelligence agencies. 

While terror threats to the airport are not uncommon, according to sources, a Pakistan-based terrorist leader has allegedly warned of attacking various parts of the country this time.

airportSecurity at Mumbai airport. File pic

Airport officials and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) received a letter forwarded by an intelligence agency on Tuesday.

The letter states that Maulana Asim Umar, South Asia’s chief of al-Qaeda, has issued serial bomb blast threats across the country.

Although the letter primarily mentions attack on the north-eastern states, the terrorist group has warned that it may also target film stars and political leaders.

A senior airport official confirmed receiving the letter, saying, “A Pakistan-based terror group is planning anti-national activities. Intelligence agencies have raised an alarm and asked to beef up VIP security.”

“In Mumbai, both domestic and international airports are expected to conduct rigorous security checks, with additional security personnel deployed at every terminal. The departure and arrival area is expected to be scanned thoroughly, along with baggage. Security personnel manning CCTVs at the airport have also been asked to remain alert for any suspicious persons and activity,” explained another airport official.

When mid-day contacted Hemendra Singh, public relations officer, CISF, he said he would have to confirm before commenting on the issue.

Previous incident

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport was put on high alert after the Kolkata Central Industrial Security Force received an SMS stating that suicide bombers may board any Air India flight on October 24 and 25. Anti-hijacking units were alerted by country’s security agencies for six flights of the national carrier, operating on the Mumbai-Kochi-Ahmedabad route. 

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