20 July 2016
International airports are highly secured buildings, because they are attractive targets for individuals or groups seeking to make a statement, be it out of political, religious, or social frustrations. Some security experts have suggested that instituting more checkpoints to scan visitors will increase security, but some are sceptical.
There have been several attacks by terrorists on major international airports in the past year. In the latest attack on 28 June 2016, a suicide gun-and-bomb attack was carried out by three men at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, causing at least 36 deaths. Another airport in Istanbul, Sabiha Gökçen, was also attacked earlier, on 23 December 2015, by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) causing one death.
While it would be easy to discount Istanbul as a prime target because of its proximity to the conflict in Syria, the attacks on Brussels Zaventum Airport on 22 March 2016 remind us that terrorist attacks can hit any international airport in the world. On that day, three men detonated suicide vests inside the airport, causing 16 deaths and injuring hundreds more. Moreover, while these attacks have been largely attributed to ISIS and other terrorist organisations like the TAK, there was a smaller scale incident where a homemade bomb was detonated at Shanghai Pudong Airport on 12 June 2016 by a man thought to have huge gambling debts, injuring four people.
… Eugene EG Tan is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 21/07/2016