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Terrorists pushing limits to hit aviation sector: Rajnath

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Delhi: Recalling the 2009 "underwear bomber", who attempted to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit flight mid-air, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Tuesday terrorists are pushing their "limits" and "underpants" to attack global civil aviation operations.

Singh also said closer to home, ensuring security of about 40 small airports and heliports in India is a subject that cannot be "ignored".

"The civil aviation sector is highly sensitive and high profile in nature. It also gets worldwide attention when hit by any attack. Often these incidents have geopolitical ramifications," he said after inaugurating a two-day seminar on 'international aviation security' here.    

"The case of the shoe bomber in 2001, the use of liquid explosives in London in 2006 and the case of the underwear bomber in Amsterdam in  2009, clearly indicate that terrorists are pushing the limits and even their underpants to hit the aviation sector," Singh said.

On Christmas Day in 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a commercial plane for the al-Qaeda, but was badly burned when a bomb sewn into his underwear failed to detonate fully on-board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Farouk earned the nicknames of underwear bomber and Christmas Day bomber.

The minister also asked aviation security agencies in the country to undertake "perspective planning" to thwart possible terror-like threats to aviation facilities.

Security agencies such as the CISF should undertake "untiring and sincere efforts to maintain fool-proof security" at airports, which are thronged by lakhs of travellers daily, Singh said.

The seminar is being organised by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), a federal force that guards 60 civil airports at present. It is being attended by delegates from 18 countries and several airlines.

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