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Saudi authorities tighten security at airports

Kingdom imposes stricter passenger screening

Published: Updated:

Saudi authorities have tightened security at airports and border crossings following the recent terrorist attacks in Jazan, a security source was quoted as saying in a section of the Arabic press.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is following up the new search measures for all passengers.

A Dammam airport source told al-Hayat Arabic daily that airport officers have been asked to refer any suspicious passengers for investigation.

“The new measures have not affected work at the airport, as some reports have claimed. Everything is going on smoothly. We don’t want to scare people. We just want to make sure they are safe and secure,” the source said.

A terrorism expert told al-Hayat that it is normal for airports which are threatened by terrorist groups to impose such measures. “Saudi airports are completely ready to deal with any potential risks and possess advanced monitoring and screen devices,” the expert said.

He called for imposing stricter search measures on female passengers and travelers because terrorists may use women to carry out their operations. Airports can be good targets for those with deviant thoughts.

Muhammad al-Jathlani, a former judge, said Saudi intelligence agencies have the right to monitor social media websites to track down any potential terrorists. They may also run security background checks on people arriving in the Kingdom in order to know more about their background.

Strong denouncement

“If authorities find that a person arriving in the Kingdom has some ties with terrorist groups, the Kingdom should ban him from entering its territories,” he said.

The Council of Ministers strongly denounced the vicious attack targeting the security men at the Wadia border post. The Cabinet considered this assault as treacherous attack carried out by a deviant group that does not respect the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Ministry of Interior identified the six militants who attacked a Saudi border post with Yemen last week killing five security officers on both sides.

Five of the gunmen were killed in the confrontation with security forces, including two who blew themselves up, while a sixth was wounded and arrested.

The ministry named the culprits, saying they were “all wanted Saudis” who were identified through DNA tests and that four of the gunmen had done time in jail, according to a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The ministry had said that the militants attacked the Wadia border post in the south of the Kingdom on Friday.