Philippines Heightens Airport Security Following Anonymous Threat to Planes

( – On September 11, 2001, terrorists in the US hijacked planes and killed almost 3,000 people. The attacks demonstrated just how vulnerable flights were, and many countries took action to make air travel safer. Recently, the Filipino government went on high alert after someone made threats to the country’s air traffic.

On October 6, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued an advisory that notified the country of “immediate enhanced security measures” at 42 commercial airports. The alert came after air traffic services received an email containing a threat regarding flights out of Manila, the capital, and to the popular tourist areas, Cebu and Palawan, as well as Bicol and Davao.

CAAP said it was validating the information but was implementing the security measures as a precaution. The agency released a memo dated October 4 that included a screenshot of the threat. While it didn’t say “bomb,” it did say “an airplane will explode” at Manila’s airport. Then it mentioned the other cities as well.

Jaime Bautista, the Transport secretary, released a statement saying there was an increase in the number of K9 units deployed to all of the terminals in the main international airport. He said the law enforcement agencies around the country coordinated with one another. In the end, there weren’t any delays or issues with flights.

According to Reuters, Jack Wanky, the aviation chief, said the threat was sent on October 4 at about 8 a.m. He said he was skeptical when he saw it, though.

“It’s most likely a hoax,” Wanky said.

Kevin Beachley, an Australian businessman, told Reuters that the threat didn’t concern him. He believed it was just someone “causing a lot of trouble without actually having to do anything other than a phone call.”

Though the threat appears to have been a hoax, there is an active ISIS cell in the country that could strike at any time. Taking each threat seriously is important.

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