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Abandoned Bag Prompts Heathrow Evacuation

A terminal at London's Heathrow Airport has been evacuated after a man dropped off a suspicious package at the Air Algeria desk and then ran away from the scene. Few other details are available at present.

Some 2,000 people were ordered out of the terminal, which houses many European carriers, police said. The British Airports Authority (BAA) said a package was being investigated...

Heathrow is a stated preferred target for terrorist groups and the designed lauch point for the recently foiled al-Qaeda plot to blow up US-bound aircraft midflight, dubbed 'Operation Bojinka II'. While it is yet to be determined whether the bag constained an explosive device, the swift reaction indicates the level of alertness at Heathrow, not unlike other airports. That it occured at the ticket desk of Algerian Air likely raised concerns additionally. Algeria is home of the recently al-Qaeda-aligned Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

We will monitor developments as information becomes available. (Updates will follow below.) For related ThreatsWatch coverage and discussion, see:

Liquid Bombs and Airline Security - Fear as a Force Multiplier

Airline Threat? What Airline Threat?

UPDATE: Metropolitan Police report that the bag in question was not found near Air Algeria check-in counter.

[A] Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "That is certainly a line of inquiry and CCTV is being checked."

But following a report that the desk concerned had been an Air Algeria check-in, she said: "The bag was not found near the Air Algeria desk."

UPDATE-2: Reuters reports that the bag has cleared inspection and that a man was arrested in connection with the incident. Passengers have been cleared to return. More details from This Is Local London.

1 Comment

An interesting development in light of OB II. Testing/probing like this is more common than people might know. Could be a way to test reactions and reaction time since the break-up of the last plot. The baddies pretty much know how various metro airports in the US will react. Could be skewed since I rarely read reports of events like this taking place outside of the US.

Now, where are the reports of things like this going off in regional/local airports?