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24 Jan, 2011 19:32

Terrorists leaked through the airport’s most vulnerable spot – aviation specialists

Terrorists leaked through the airport’s most vulnerable spot – aviation specialists

Domodedovo Airport was caught off guard, as the criminals managed to choose the site’s most problematic moment and location, aviation experts have noted.

“The airport was caught in a moment of disarray,” Leonid Koshelev, head of the National Association of Business Aviation, told RT. “There were a lot of things happening in Domodedovo around the New Year. So the airport was concentrating on those things, dealing with the crisis. Now, in the middle of all these concerns, the blast happens. I believe this was not by chance.”Koshelev underlined, however, that although the blast will influence the life of Domodedovo in the months to come, the airport will recover quite soon. “For sure, the blast will be followed by a crisis in the aviation industry,” Koshelev said. “There will definitely be fewer passengers for a couple of months.But I think that Russians have a certain toughness of character. As far as I know, today in Domodedovo aircraft have been arriving and departing, passengers have been handled, things have been returning to normal remarkably quickly.”

Sergey Brilev, a journalist and member of Russia's Council on Defense and Foreign Policy, told RT it is no coincidence that that particular part of the airport was chosen."If you go through security control at Domodedovo Airport, if you're about to fly, you have to pass through security,” he pointed out. “Here they organized the whole thing in an area which is not normally checked in any airport anywhere in the word – that is, the waiting area, where people wait for those passengers who arrive.”

Still, Peter Power, a crisis management specialist from Visor Consultants, told RT there is a chance there might have been a different target. "It won't be just Moscow airport where things would be tightening up… It is the major harbor for that part of the world,” he said. “Another question I've just heard: was it the real target? Could something have happened that made the bomb explode while en route to somewhere else? For example, if a bomb detonates in the air, invariably near any airport, you're going shroud a wider area. They can be detonated by a mobile phone providing it's at low level. So, there's a chance that the target might have been somewhere else. "

Fred Weir, a journalist at the Christian Science Monitor, agrees that terrorists aim at weak points and that he experienced poor security measures at Domodedovo Airport just weeks ago."We know that Domodedovo is the gateway to the North Caucasus, as far as Russian domestic airports go from Moscow,” Weir said. “That may be a reason, but I think it's also that over the past few years we have seen terrorists striking in Moscow – most memorably, less than a year ago when two suicide bombers hit the Moscow Metro. I think they find vulnerable points. I think they notice where security lacks, and they select these places for maximum impact. And I know since I went through Domodedovo Airport just a couple of weeks ago – their security measures had really fallen off.” “I don't know what the reasons are, and we're speculating here, but I think one thing you have to understand about terrorists or people who want to inflict maximum damage and get maximum attention for this: They study these things and they select their targets,” Weir added.

Moscow-based sociologist and political analyst Boris Kagarlitsky told RT about the new tactics of those behind the attack. "It might be very much like a provocation to increase the ethnic tension and the general political tension in the country, and that will have a very negative effect,” Kagarlitsky said. “The big question remains why it all happened during all the security measures. We know that at least for a few days the airport security staff at Domodedovo was warned that something was happening, but very little was actually done to increase the security and guarantee the safety of the passengers. So far, all the terrorist attacks were targeted at working-class people – those people travelling by Metro. For the first time, we have an attack at middle-class people and that is absolutely something new to Russian terrorism.”

Ivan Eland, a political analyst from the Independent Institute in Washington, told RT that the government could face certain dangers in dealing with the aftermath of the attack."There is a danger, and it applies to any government whether in the European Union, Russia or the United States,” Eland said. “There must be caution not to overreact to this, because sometimes terrorism is used to deliberately make the stronger party, the governments, overreact with Draconian measures and this only aggravates things. And, of course, this helps the terrorists because they get more funding, more support from whatever ethnic or sectarian group they represent, and this is the phenomenon terrorists use worldwide.”

Igor Khokhlov from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations says as terrorism is a global activity, the terrorists and those who organize terrorist attacks usually pick targets which attract maximum attention.“Also, usually they try to target common people, and not only the citizens of the country where they commit their crimes, but also foreigners who come to that country, because it puts the whole issue on international agenda,” he said.