Security at Shannon Airport strengthened

John O'Neill johnfergaloneill at
Tue Jan 14 15:56:01 MST 2003

Security at Shannon strengthened due to al-Qaeda threat
By Brian McLaughlin

  The Garda Superintendent with responsibility for Shannon Airport has
revealed that security has been stepped up after reports that the airport
could be a target for al-Qaeda.

Supt John Kerin of Ennis said they recognised there could be a threat to
American passengers transiting and visiting the area. There was always a
potential threat to an airport but they did not have any solid information
that a terrorist attack was planned.

"You can't discount the possibility that there is such a threat with the
ongoing situation and we are on the alert for that. If people have
information that there is a threat by al-Qaeda or any other group we will
ask them to come forward and give us information so we can investigate it,"
he said.

Supt Kerins said there is no evidence of any arms being brought through
Shannon by the transiting US troops and added that they are monitoring the
activities of demonstrators and keeping in touch with the people at the
peace camp.

The airport director, Mr Martin Moroney, said as far as Aer Rianta was
concerned, foreign military aircraft had been using Shannon Airport since
the very beginning of the airport's operations.

"The charter flights have been going through for years and I am treating
them purely as commercial airlines. We are going to operate our business
here in line with our own business policy and in line with Government

Aer Rianta has confirmed over 1,000 US troops in desert camouflage transited
the airport last Wednesday and about the same number came through on

© The Irish Times

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