Review of ‘all aspects’ of air freight security after East Midlands Airport bomb plot
By jon robinson
A REVIEW of “all aspects” of air freight security will be carried out following the discovery of a bomb at East Midlands Airport.
Home Secretary Theresa May announced a series of measures in the House of Commons yesterday.
It came in response to the international terror alert when security staff found printer cartridges containing explosives at cargo hubs at East Midlands Airport and Dubai on Friday.
They originated from Yemen and were found after a tip-off from Saudi officials.
“We will review all aspects of air freight security and work with international partners to make sure our defences are as robust as possible,” Mrs May told MPs.
She said flights containing unaccompanied freight from Somalia would be suspended from midnight last night.
She said this was a “precautionary measure” based on “possible contact between al Qaida in Yemen and terrorist groups in Somalia, as well as concern about airport security in Mogadishu.”
Toner cartridges larger than 500g (17.6oz) will be banned from hand baggage on flights departing from the UK and also on cargo flights unless they originate from a regular shipper with security arrangements approved by the Department for Transport, she said.
Guidance given to airport staff will also be updated to enable them to identify similar packages in future.
Mrs May revealed Cobra, the Government’s emergency planning committee, would continue to meet throughout this week.
However, the boss of budget airline Ryanair warned air passengers could be subjected to “ludicrous” new security measures.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary told the BBC: “I have no doubt we will have all the securicrats tut-tutting through the remainder of this week about the need for increased security when in actual fact we already have ludicrously over-the-top and, sadly, totally-ineffective security measures.”
A Downing Street spokesman said yesterday the Government had been working with Yemen to counter the terrorist threat.
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