The Federal Criminal Police Office is warning of a new type of Islamist terrorist threat from the air that could attack both passenger and cargo planes as well as airport facilities, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported.
Radical groups could use new, computer-based technology or even drones, the office, known in German as the Bundeskriminalamt or BKA, said.
“For western airlines and airports there is a credible threat that can manifest itself at any time in an attack,” the BKA said in a confidential reported entitled “The situation in aviation security 2012” that the paper obtained.
Aviation remains within the target range of not only Islamist terrorst groups but also extremist individual attackers, the report said.
Despite higher levels of security, terrorist groups have continued to “further develop technologies” and have shown to be flexible in being able to adapt their plans.
There is a danger that IT-based programs for flight movements could be scanned on a real-time basis and programs such as “Flightradar 24” could be used against targets, the BKA said.
Attacks against an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012 and at the airport in Peshwar, Pakistan at the end of last year have shown that public spaces of airport infrastructures remain attractive to radical Muslim terrorists.
The office acknowledged that 100 percent security is not possible, but said continued improvements are needed in order to combat terrorist threats. It said it doesn’t have any information about attacks being planned against Germany.