Airport safety frenzy after threat mail-Kolkata

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Airport safety frenzy after threat mail-Kolkata

Kolkata: An e-mail threatening to blow up the airport on Sunday sent the authorities in a tizzy as additional security personnel were posted both outside the airport and within the terminal.
Within two minutes of the alert going off, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) deployed Quick Response Teams and passenger baggage checks were intensified, with the airlines conducting another round of search.
It was around 6am when the airport manager saw the e-mail on the official mail and immediately, alerted senior officials as well as CISF officers. According to sources, the mail, ostensibly sent from Germany, demanded 60 bitcoins (BTC), a form of digital currency equivalent to $24,000 or Rs 16 lakh, failing which the airport would be blown up. “Immediately after we learned about the threat mail, a stakeholders’ meeting was convened and security measures enhanced. The demand for BTC is interesting because the cryptocurrency can be exchanged against any currency,” said a security officer. Financial regulators and foreign law enforcement agencies have come across incidents of criminals using bitcoins. Even as the cyber crime team of Biddhannagar Commissionerate checked the veracity of the mail, a case was registered at the NSCBI Airport police station.
As the mail did not specify Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security ordered to step up safety measures at all the airports countrywide. At Kolkata airport, while additional CISF personnel were deployed near the gate as well as at the security check point prior to boarding flights, the bomb detection and disposal squad was summoned.

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