TEL AVIV – London’s Heathrow airport is considering implementing new security measures modeled after Ben Gurion Airport’s “ring of steel” method following warnings from intelligence officials of a fresh terror campaign by Islamic State.
The security initiative would see the deployment of plainclothes security personnel in the departures and arrivals halls and more thorough security checks for luggage and baggage handlers, as well as custodial and maintenance staff.
British counter-terrorism and aviation officials will arrive in Israel next month to work closely with their Israeli counterparts to study the country’s security procedures.
Israel’s airport is known for being one of the world’s most secure airports with at least 12 individual layers of security, including passenger profiling, bomb sniffing devices, and questioning every single passenger.
The Times of London cited an unnamed senior Israeli intelligence official warning that the Islamic State was preparing to carry out more attacks on European airports and airplanes.
“We know the level of security at every airport in the world,” the source was quoted as saying. “There’s a lot to improve in many airports in Europe.”
Last week, it emerged that a former employee of McDonald’s trained by Al-Qaeda was planning to carry out a suicide attack on Israeli and American passengers at Heathrow.
European airports are relatively open compared to those in Africa and the Middle East, where all persons entering the airport building are checked.
A review of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport found that 57 workers with access to both runways and airplanes were on a terror watchlist.