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Al-Qaeda terror scare at airports

Airports across the country are put on high alert after a letter found at Tiruchirapalli airport warns of Qaeda attacks, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 14:33 IST

Airports Across the country were put on high alert on Thursday after a letter warning of Al Qaeda attacks was found at the Tiruchirapalli airport in Tamil Nadu. The anonymous letter said militants would blow up airports in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Civil Aviation Secretary Ajay Prasad said security was strengthened at all airports. Emergency anti-sabotage and anti-hijacking measures have been put in place. Additional security forces have been deployed and personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force are patrolling airport premises.

Apart from X-Ray scans, security personnel will examine the hand baggage of all passengers. There could be a second baggage check at the boarding gate. There will be restrictions on carrying liquids and gels on board. Visitors to the airport will be checked and vehicles will not be allowed to park on the premises for more than "the required time".

Since the security drill could result in delays, air travellers have been asked to report early.

Prasad said the threat letter, written in Tamil and addressed to the airport director, was found on Wednesday at an area that was under construction for the installation of an ATM machine.

The letter claimed Al Qaeda militants had penetrated Chennai airport and bombs would be planted in and around the area. It said militants would strike at the airport with "sophisticated technology" and attacks would follow at airports in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and those in Kerala. The letter is being examined by intelligence agencies.