Terror bomb attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport kills 35.
Over 30 people have died in a bomb attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Monday. Security services had received no specific warnings about the attack.
The blast struck at 4:37 p.m. on Monday in the crowded international arrivals area of Domodedovo airport, where relatives and friends were waiting to welcome inbound travelers. According to the police the suicide bomber’s explosive device had a TNT equivalent of over five kilos and was stuffed with pieces of metal to cause maximum human casualties. The bomber was able to enter freely: people coming to the airport to meet and greet travelers do not have to pass through security.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under the articles “terrorist act,” “illegal trafficking in explosives” and “murder,” a spokesperson said. By the time this paper went to print, the toll was 35 dead and over 150 injured, according to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee. As many as 53 people were hospitalized in Moscow and the surrounding area.
President Dmitry Medvedev held a meeting in the immediate aftermath of the attack. He instructed law enforcement agencies to investigate and to boost security on public transport, while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told his staff to ensure the victims were given all necessary assistance. No personnel changes are planned as yet, said Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov: “So far, all efforts are focused on helping the victims.”
Presidents Barack Obama of the United States and Nicolas Sarkozy of France were among the many world leaders who spoke out to denounce the attack.
On New Year’s Eve and shortly afterwards, police at Domodedovo were on high alert - following weather-related disruption, but for several days prior to the blast things had returned to normal. There was no prior warning of any possible terror attack, according to an Interior Ministry spokesman and airport security staff.
Several dozen warnings are received each year about possible terrorist attacks in Moscow but not all of them are true. This time, no concrete information was available, the security man added.
After the explosion, transport police across Moscow were put on high alert. Two flights were rerouted from Domodedovo to Sheremetyevo, said airport spokesperson Anna Zakharenkova. Lufthansa cancelled two flights while Austrian Airlines and BA cancelled one each.
One can, of course, sue Domodedovo for its inadequate security, as welcoming parties are not inspected on entering the arrivals hall, but that would be senseless. Given the security situation across Moscow, there are a vast number of places vulnerable to attack, says Arkady Livshits, general director of Arli Spetstekhnika, a company that manufactures anti-terrorist equipment.
The security and especially the intelligence services can be blamed for failing to prevent the attack, said Gennady Gudkov, deputy head of the State Duma’s security committee. But no amount of efforts by anti-terrorist squads can ward off 100% of attacks, especially given the existing levels of corruption in government and the police terrorists will, unfortunately, keep finding opportunities to make their deadly impact.
Dave Lindahl Scam