Will Moscow airport blast force global security rethink? By Bryony Jones

Airports around the world are likely to boost security checks in the wake of Monday’s deadly bombing in Moscow, experts say. The blast, at the city’s Domodedovo Airport, killed at least 35 people and left more than 100 wounded, several critically.

Experts say it is significant that those who masterminded the attack chose to bomb the arrivals hall of the airport — Moscow’s busiest — because it was an easier target than the heavily-policed departures area. “Arrivals has always been thought of as the ‘soft’ area of an airport,” explained CNN’s Richard Quest. “Nobody is flying anywhere, the baggage has all been screened, because it has been on planes already, and crucially, people are leaving the airport. It’s very rare that you ever saw somebody carrying a bag in to arrivals.”

Security analyst Will Geddes told CNN: “The arrivals area is generally less secure .You have a large proportion of members of the public, people meeting friends and family. “And whereas departures is spread out, with lots of check-in desks, baggage reclaim is slap bang in the middle of the arrivals hall, with the greatest concentration of people around it.” Geddes said the airport had likely been chosen for a number of reasons, not least the possibilities of inflicting mass casualties — and frightening a large number of ordinary people — in one go.

“This is terrorism in its very real sense: Just as after the [Moscow] Metro attacks last March, the general public was too scared to use the subway, now they will be put off using the airport.” Quest said security was already tight at Moscow’s airports, but would be stepped up over the coming days. “I’ve heard lots of things to suggest that the facilities, the standard of comfort, the way people are treated [at Domodedevo] is not up to international standards. But on a security level, because of the Chechen incidents, and because of other security issues that Russia has faced, it always has been way up there. However, the security emphasis has always been on departures, not arrivals; now that’s going to have to be rethought.”

Experts agree that airports worldwide, not just those in Russia, are likely to review their procedures in the wake of the Moscow attack. Read more…

As published in www.cnn.com on January 25, 2011.


Rita January 26, 2011 - 11:38 pm

Is added security or passenger profiling really the answer? Do we have x-ray machines in train stations to look forward to? I guess it’s always good to review security possibilities, though these seem more like band-aids as opposed to really trying to get to healing (dealing with) the core. Could good “international relationships” be a fallacy?

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