News / Asia

India Tightens Security Amid Warnings of Possible Hijack Attempt

Multimedia

Audio

India has puts its airports on high alert following intelligence warnings of a possible hijacking attempt by Islamic militants. The security alert comes days before India celebrates its annual Republic Day.

Indian officials said Friday the concern is that national carrier Air India or Indian Airlines could be targets of al-Qaida or militant groups associated with it.

"It is based on intelligence reports that we have received. And we suspect there can be an attempt to target some of our airlines, especially those which fly abroad outside India. And we have alerted our agencies to careful on anti hijacking measures," said U.K. Bansal, senior home ministry official in charge of internal security.
  
Bansal says the biggest threat is to flights that originate either in India or in neighboring South Asian countries - Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.

He says the tighter security measures include deployment of sky marshals on all flights of the national carrier Air India. 

India has been wary of terror strikes since Islamic militants struck several high profile targets in Mumbai in 2008 killing more than 160 people. Since then it has been trying to upgrade security measures and improve intelligence gathering to foil such attacks. 

During a recent visit to India, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that al-Qaida and terror groups under its umbrella intend to destabilize the South Asian region with further attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

India blames Islamic militants based in Pakistan for launching terror attacks in the country. The accusation - denied by Pakistan - has stalled a peace process between the two countries and raised tensions between them.

Friday's hijack warning comes days before India holds annual Republic Day celebrations on January 26th. At this time, security agencies remain on alert for possible terror attacks.

India also grappled with a hijacking a decade ago, when an Air India flight from Nepal was seized by Islamic militants and forced to land in Kandahar in Afghanistan. At that time, New Delhi released four Islamic militants in exchange for 167 passengers and crew. 

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid