FeaturedHighlight

ISIS terror plot sparks heightened security at Nigeria airports as experts say ‘Insider threats’ from workers on the rise.

224

Nigeria air travelers poured out liquids, opened their bags for inspection and endured long waits Tuesday as airports heightened security and some flights delayed after the discovery of a terror plot aimed at commercial airlines traveling within the country.

Per Second News gathered that the federal government raised its threat warning to the highest level for commercial flights across the nation’s airports following threats from ISIS to attack airliners across the globe.

 

The federal government has written to all relevant agencies to step up security and surveillance at all airports.

Nigeria airports and aircraft remain vulnerable to attack and exploitation by nefarious individuals,” said Bala Audu, a security expert on Tuesday morning. “Current security standards would likely fail to prevent a determined adversary with insider access from causing harm to an airport or aircraft, she said in an interview with this newspaper.

Audu, said that workers at the airport should be screened vigorously before access to the airports, he said most of the workers are only subjected to random screening and credentialing, exposing worrisome “security flaws” that could be exploited in “‘lone wolf’ attacks being inspired by terrorist groups like ISIS,”  he said.

 

Over the past decade, several airport workers with access to secure areas -– including a cart driver at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and, several years later, a jet fueler at the same airport –- have joined terror groups like al- Shabaab and ISIS. One contractor at Dallas-Fort Worth airport in the U.S even bragged to an undercover  FBI agent that he could smuggle a bomb onto an aircraft for a $4,000 fee. (He was later arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 15 years.)

In March, Per Second News learnt that two officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) whose names were not disclosed, were arrested for ‘trafficking’ of 6 underage girls at the Lagos airport.

The officers were nabbed for allegedly trying to facilitate the trafficking of the six underage girls to Omar and Kuwait on an Ethiopian Airlines flight.

While smuggling weapons and bombs onto airplanes has become harder, crowded airport concourses around ticket counters and security checkpoints are still vulnerable to attack. Governments are grappling with this issue because as they add more sophisticated detection equipment and add more thorough security processes, the number of soft targets grows due to increased concentration of people who have yet to go through these checkpoints.

For example, in June, 2016, gunmen armed with automatic weapons and explosive vests staged a coordinated attack on the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. In 90 seconds, the terrorist attack killed more than 40 people and wounded more than 230.

Similarly, on March 22, 2016, terrorists in Brussels coordinated three separate attacks, two of which took place at the Brussels Airport in Zaventem.

” The number of workers, touts at our airports is alarming and the government need to limit them, while subjecting them to strict security screenings, said Moses Obiora, an aviation expert.

This potentially new serious hazard isn’t coming from travelers, but from those who work at the airport itself.

Multiple aviation experts told Per Second News that the ‘Insider Threats’ to aviation security are on the rise and a serious concern at most airports in Nigeria.

While it may be impossible for airports to prevent every attack, a more visible law enforcement presence can serve as a deterrent.

Airports and government officials need to find ways to establish and maintain robust physical security while also limiting the soft targets that is a byproduct of increased security.

 

Leave a comment

Related Articles

Just in: Nigeria records 2.98% GDP growth in Q1 ’2024

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria fell to 2.98 percent, a...

Northern elders react to Sanusi’s reinstatement, caution Kano Gov. Yusuf

As the return of Kano Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II continues to raise...

NELFUND student loan portal opens

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has opened the application portal for...

NNPC Ltd. , Schlumberger (SLB) Sign Agreement to Boost Upstream Operations

As part of strategic reforms aimed at unlocking opportunities in the nation’s...

16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, turbaned

Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II was turbaned on Friday as the 16th Emir...

Frustrated by lecturer, Ebonyi varsity final year female student commits suicide

Devastated by the frustrations she suffered in the hands of her lecturer,...

24 hours after arrest, Abuja publisher released on bail

The Enugu Police Command has released Madu Onuorah, publisher and editor-in-chief of...

Court Seizes $4.7m, N830m, other properties recovered from Ex-CBN Gov. Emefiele

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered an interim forfeiture...

Pres. Tinubu authorises commencement of Lagos-Calabar coastal highway construction

President Bola Tinubu has given the nod for the commencement of construction...

Abuja online publisher Onuorah arrested over alleged defamatory publication – Police

The Enugu State Police Command has refuted the allegation that they abducted...

NNPC Ltd. condoles with Tijjani Babangida over loss of brother, son

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has paid a condolence...

Human capital key to economic development, says Emir Sanusi

The newly-reinstated Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has said that human...

Just in: Chad swears in sixth president

Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, the son of Chad’s former President and the...

Nigerian Army dismisses six soldiers, sanctions two for gross misconduct

The Nigerian Army, 3 Division, Rukuba Plateau State, has dismissed and jailed...

Alleged N19.4bn fraud: Court grants Ex-Aviation Minister Sirika, brother N200m bail

A former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and his brother, Ahmad Abubakar...

Breaking: Sanusi reinstated as Emir of Kano as Gov. Yusuf signs bill 

Kano Gov. Abba Yusuf signed the amended Kano Emirate Council Bill 2024...

Tinubu’s commitment to 30% inclusiveness quota for youths demonstrates his love for them. – Olawande

The Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr. Ayodele Olawande, has stated...

Oil sector attracted $16.6bln investments under Tinubu administration – Lokpobiri

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has announced...

History made as ECOWAS Parliament elects first female speaker

Daniel Okejeme The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has,...

Just in: Reps pass bill to revert to old national anthem, scales second reading in Senate

The House of Representatives has passed a bill for the country to...