Security was tightened at airports across India on Sunday following a warning from the FBI that a plane flying to the United States or Europe could be hijacked, officials and television channels said.
Passengers were frisked, baggage checked repeatedly and airport complexes barricaded after the FBI told Indian intelligence agencies that it had found an e-mail which spoke of plans to hijack a plane from India, the CNN-IBN television said.
The television report did not clarify who sent the e-mail or if it had mentioned the name of any particular Indian airport.
“This new alert has only led to a further stepping up of security measures,” said Dinesh Kumar, director of Chennai airport.
On Wednesday, six airports in southern India were put on alert after a hand-written letter threatening of bomb attacks by al-Qaida was found. Officials later said the letter was a hoax.
But Indian officials said they were not taking any chances with the most recent alert.
“I have just returned after reviewing the security at the Tiruchy and Madurai airports (in southern India) and all is fine over there,” said Santosh Kumar, a senior police official in this southern Indian city.
“The scene at Chennai airport is quite satisfactory.”
Some media reports said terrorists could try to hijack a plane flying out of Chennai’s international airport, but this could not be immediately confirmed.
A top state intelligence officer said on condition of anonymity that airport security was being thoroughly reviewed.
“We will soon have cameras to record the faces of passengers as they enter the airport premises, and even of cars,” the official said.