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

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid