Terrorists may target air cargo

Terrorist threats to the air freight industry are mounting rapidly according to security experts.


Terrorists could concentrate their activities increasingly on the highly vulnerable supply chain and in particular the air freight industry. This was one of the key warnings experts emphasised during a recent Lufthansa Cargo securityconference in Frankfurt.

“The passenger traffic is well controlled nowadays, which makes it complicated and risky for any possible attacker to pass by explosives, devices or weapons by the x-ray machines and security people to get them on board of an aircraft,” said Harald Zielinski, Lufthansa Cargo’s head of security in his address to the more than 200 participants.

As a consequence terrorists could pick the air freight industry as their preferred target. “Every disturbance of the aviation sector guarantees broad media coverage and the terrorists eagerly need the headlines to get worldwide awareness,” stated Nikolaus Hahn, leading investigator at Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office“Bundeskriminalamt” (BKA).

“The entire aviation sector, as well as the ground infrastructure are very vulnerable and therefore, keep being main targets of Islamic terrorists,” Hahn added. Presently, only three per cent of the entire air freight in Germany is being x-rayed, according to Hahn. “Take a coffin with human remains as only one example of lacking security. Because of reverence reasons they mostly are not x-rayed when transported by air,” he warned.