Saturday, May 13, 2006

Indian airports to mount vigil against "human bomb"

New Delhi: A "human bomb" could attempt to hijack a plane in India, intelligence agencies have warned, prompting security forces to seek state-of-the-art body scanners, an official said on Friday.
"There is a real possibility of a terrorist inserting RDX or plastic explosives or even a knife into his skin," a top official of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which protects 54 of India's main airports, told Reuters.
Intelligence agencies had also warned that airports and dockyards were "targets number one" for militants, especially Islamist militants fighting Indian rule in the restive Himalayan state of Kashmir, he said.
CISF has asked the government to allow installation of human body scanners at 16 airports in the country categorised as "hypersensitive", the official said.
"Traditional scanners cannot look under the skin so we have decided to go for body scanners," he said.
The use of body scanners has come in for some criticism in the West as passengers have complained that it amounts to a strip-search and violates their privacy. The CISF official said his agency planned to address such concerns by using officers of the same gender to scan passengers.
13/05/06 Palash Kumar/Reuters AlertNet
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