In the wake of terror threats, aviation authorities have called in the army for maintaining round-the-clock security at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA).
Meanwhile, a hoax bomb threat for a Quetta-bound flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) PK-323 caused emergency at the capital’s airport.
“It was a hoax call, but security forces took no chances and checked the entire flight which delayed take-off,” said an official of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
A CAA official said that the caller had identified herself with a name, was using a government series landline number, and told airport authorities that she had credible information that the Quetta-bound flight will be blown up by terrorists.
Security agencies were trying to track the caller.
The Pakistan Army has been provided with a permanent place on the airport premises for keeping round-the-clock security of the capital’s airport with the Nur Khan Airbase located adjacent to it. The airport was locked down earlier last week after intelligence agencies claimed to have intercepted a terrorist’s conversation that revealed plans to mount a massive attack on the airport.
“The intelligence intercept revealed a very detailed plan of the terrorists on carrying out the attack on the airport,” said an official of the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC).
The official further revealed that they had precise information on how many terrorists would take part in the attack and how it would be executed.
The intelligence intercept stated that four terrorists would storm the airport in a group. They would be equipped with heavy and light weaponry and would hurl grenades at the security personnel.
“For instance, it said that the terrorists’ group that would storm the main gate would comprise four individuals, who would be aided by suicide bombers,” the official added.
“It is commendable that security agencies managed to intercept such a detailed conversation, as it’s not common for terrorists to reveal their complete plan on the phone,” a police official said.
The NCMC also issued a high alert for the under-construction new airport in Islamabad earlier this week.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2013.