Suspected Suicide Bomber Murders Dozens at Moscow Airport
By Matthew Harwood
Created 01/24/2011 - 17:12
By Matthew Harwood
A suspected suicide bomber today strode into the public area outside the international arrivals portion of Moscow's busiest airport and detonated an explosive device, killing at least 35 people and wounding nearly 170 people.
A suspected suicide bomber today strode into the public area outside the international arrivals portion of Moscow's busiest airport and detonated an explosive device, killing at least 35 people and wounding nearly 170 people, according to the Guardian, although casualty reports differ.
The bomb went off at 4:37 p.m. and targeted the area of the Domodedovo Airport where people wait to greet arriving air travelers.
At Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, Moscow's two other airports, security has been tightened. Both airports are working to a regime of heightened terrorist threat with detailed baggage checks. St. Petersburg's Pulkovo airport has also announced a security alert and President Dmitry Medvedev called for extra security at all of Russia's airports.
Some planes for Domodedovo have been diverted to Sheremetyevo but the airport is still accepting some incoming flights.
The explosion outside Moscow brought to reality a dire scenario that aviation officials have long known about but had seen little practical possibility to prevent: an attack on the public area of a major airport. Airport designers try to keep airplanes a safe distance from any attacks outside the facility, but planners know that as long as people are coming and going from planes, crowds will occasionally occur outside the security perimeter.
"Obviously, it's always been a concern, but the public area is no different from a shopping mall or a school," said Art Kosatka, chief executive of TranSecure, a transportation security consulting firm in Leesburg, Va.
In reaction to the attack Monday, Russian authorities ordered 100% security screening of all passengers and visitors entering airports, as well as their baggage, across the country.