Tuesday, August 16

Caution Urged After IS Threaten Heathrow Attack


 

 

A Minister has responded to an alleged threat to Heathrow Airport on a Twitter feed linked to Islamic State by calling for vigilance.

Transport minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said that all steps necessary would be taken “to keep the public safe”.

It followed non-governmental counter-terrorism organisation SITE Intelligence Group warning it had become aware of a threat involving “a device placed in either Heathrow, LAX or JFK airports”.

Lord Ahmad said: “We all need to be vigilant to the global threat of terrorism – in the UK we keep all aspects of aviation security under constant review and work closely with our international partners to mitigate risks.

“We will continue to take all steps necessary to keep the public safe, but for security reasons we do not comment in detail on specific measures or operational matters.”

SITE on Friday described the threat as coming from a “pro-Islamic State Twitter account”.

It is reported to have threatened attacks on planes “flying from Heathrow to the US” during the 4 July US Independence Day holiday weekend.

Heathrow Airport has so far declined to comment on the apparent threat and has referred inquiries to the Department for Transport.

There are suggestions it is increasingly attempting to strike at targets outside its heartlands of Syria and Iraq as it is under pressure.

A convoy of nearly 800 IS vehicles was destroyed from the air on Wednesday and Thursday as it attempted to flee the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Iraqi forces retook full control of Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, after a vast operation that was launched in May.

The strikes further shrink the size of the “caliphate” the group proclaimed over large parts of Iraq and Syria two years ago.

Iraqi forces are now training their sights on Mosul, IS’s de facto Iraqi capital.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the director of the CIA said an attack on Istanbul’s main international airport that left dozens of people dead “bears all the hallmarks” IS.