London, 31 January 2011 Last week’s suicide attack in the busy international arrivals meet and greet area at Moscow Domodedovo Airport, serves as a chilling reminder that transportation hubs and other high profile locations where people gather, remain potent targets for those with the intent to kill and maim.
This message has been voiced regularly at Counter Terror Expo, the world leading event held annually in London and attended by counter-terrorism professionals from across the globe.
Domodedovo is the city’s busiest international airport and the primary gateway for many of the world’s major airlines. The choice of target, location of the blast and the timing, were all clearly chosen to inflict maximum political and economic damage to the Russian Federation.
The attack took place just hours before President Dmitry Medvedev was due to give a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was specifically focused toward damaging the perception of the Russian Federation being a safe haven to do business, in the preparatory run up period to the country hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Russian authorities have determined the attacker to be 20 year-old male from the restive North Caucasus region, where a long running campaign against Islamist extremists is being waged.
The airport attack claimed the lives of 35 people and injured in in excess of a 180 others. It followed a similar suicide strike against the metro system which claimed a similar number of lives last year.
When viewed within the context of other similar and related terrorist strikes against assets and people the world over within the past year, the expert advisory panel delivering focus to Counter Terror Expo believes that both the threat trajectory and direction is evolving again. Appropriate steps must therefore be taken to address present issues within the overall global counter-terrorism framework.
What occurred at Domodedovo Airport could just as easily happen at almost any other airport in the world and It serves as a wake up call that more needs to be done to enhance the protection afforded to key transportation assets as well as other and other high profile locations where people congregate in large numbers.
Counter Terror Expo brings both focus and clarity to these critical transnational and national issues annually, within high level conference forums, across very specialised workshop programmes and delivers a secure environment in which to discuss the principal issues in conclave and privacy.
This critically acclaimed event within the counter-terrorism calender of primary events will be held in the Grand Hall of London’s prestigious Olympia Exhibition & Conference Centre from 19-20 April 2011.