U.K.: A Year After Glasgow, Aviation Security Risks Persist

By Matthew Harwood

Two articles from two separate British news outlets outline the continued threat of aviation terrorism hovering over the United Kingdom.

According to the Guardian, Lord Stevens, a former Metropolitan police commissioner, will issue a report that warns that terrorists could use cargo planes to transport hazardous or explosive materials or detonate the aircraft during flight.

"The air cargo system is vulnerable to security threats including plots to place explosives aboard aircraft; illegal shipments of hazardous materials; criminal activities such as smuggling and theft; and potential hijackings and sabotage by persons with access to aircraft," says Stevens.

In a related story, a security consultant told the BBC that a year after the botched attack on Glasgow International Airport, security vulnerabilities persist at the country's airports. The article, however, did not reveal what those security vulnerabilities are.

Since Bilal Abdullah, a 28-year old Iraqi doctor, and Kafeel Ahmed, a 27-year old Indian, drove an explosives-laden Jeep Cherokee into the main terminal of Glasgow International Airport, security measures have been tightened.

Chris Yates, the security consultant interviewed by the BBC, said the no drop-off policy in front of the airport's main terminal was "common sense" and should have been in place long before the attack last year. The main terminal building has also been retrofitted with bomb-proof glass.

Despite these security upgrades, Yates said the United Kingdom has not done enough to deter aviation terrorism.

"We have a long way to go before airports here in the UK are secure enough to prevent the prospect of another terrorist attack," he told the BBC.


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