There were two explosions at the airport shortly before 8am on the 22nd March, 2016. The explosions were minutes apart according to the local media. Both of the said explosions happened in the check-in area. A third device failed to detonate as planned. After the initial attacks at the airport, another blast ripped through a metro carriage at Maalbeek Metro Station.
The blasts at the airport and the metro station killed about 34 people as well as three bombers. There were also 316 people who remained hospitalized, including 63 in serious condition.
Isis made a series of claims of responsibility for the attacks. These lead experts to believe that there was evidence of coordination between them and the perpetrators.
People all over the world have condemned the despicable attack. Leaders of different countries have expressed their condolences and offered solidarity to the Belgian people.
What It Means To Denmark
The recent attacks in Brussels raised serious questions about the vulnerability of airport security to terrorist attacks in Denmark. Airport security all across Europe is under review after the recent terrorist attacks.
The Copenhagen Police said on twitter that they are aware of what happened in Brussels. Therefore, they will tighten security at the airport as well as other key points in Copenhagen.
Denmark authorities have been on high alert since the incident that happened in Copenhagen in February last year. Two people were killed in shooting attacks at a free speech event and a shul.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt presented a 12-point plan to combat terror last year. Thorning-Schmidt said that he wanted to strengthen their ability to gather and analyze information about terror planning abroad.
The plan will ensure that the intelligence service is able to monitor Danes who travel abroad to take part in extremist activities.
The governments entitled their terror package ‘A strong defense against terror.’ It features 12 concrete initiatives ranging from anti-radicalization efforts in the nation’s prisons to increased data gathering on airline passengers and increasing security capabilities for both the police and security agency PET.
The government plan read, “ the Danish government will always defend Denmark and ensure the safety of their residents. New challenges require new tools. The government will therefore enhance and strengthen Denmark’s defense against terror.”
How They Will Tighten Security
Authorities have been focused on stepping up Denmark Security in airports such as Copenhagen airport in light of the recent attacks in Brussels.
Copenhagen Airport used to be called Kastrup Airport as the airport is located in Kastrup. Nowadays, the official name of the airport is Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup to distinguish it from Roskilde Airport which used to be called Copenhagen, Roskilde Airport. The IATA code for Copenhagen Airport is CPH and the ICAO code is EKCH. IATA stands for International Air Transport Association airport code and ICAO stands for International Civil Aviation Organization airport code.
Copenhagen Airport located on the Island of Amager is the largest and busiest airport in the Nordic countries and is actually also one of the oldest airports in Europe. CPH Airport is the main airport hub out of three used by Scandinavian Airlines and is an operating base for Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia that mainly charter holiday flights and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Employees at Copenhagen airport requested a meeting with airport security and police to discuss and evaluate security measures. They were concerned that the check-in area at Kastrup is especially vulnerable to terrorist attack since it is not usually subject to extensive security checks and and scans. This is a difficult point for airport security. They wanted a direct dialogue so that they had an understanding of what needed to be done.
Danish authorities have been on high alert. Due to the recent events, they became concerned that check-in may be vulnerable at the airport. Therefore, it was necessary to evaluate their safety measures and take necessary precautions.
People are advised to have ample time while travelling. Certain measures are taken all over Europe. For instance, only passengers with tickets and identity documents will be allowed into the check-in areas after luggage has been checked. The number plates of cars heading for the airport will also be scanned and police will carry out spot checks.
Copenhagen airport also said on their website that police and security have increased patrols to ensure the safety of the people in the area. Danes have been warned to expect a heightened police presence. Police officers were armed and vigilant as they patrolled the area.
The Danish police are increasing their presence in key places in Denmark. They will be more visible. Authorities will be watching for any suspicious behaviour as well as abandoned objects at the airport and at other transportation hubs throughout the city.
What Denmark Plans for the Future
Denmark unites with other European countries in their suffering from terrorist attacks. Not only that, they are also determined to fight terror. They announced increased security at border crossings and transport infrastructure all over Europe. Aviation security is under constant review.
To increase Denmark’s security, Denmark’s Minister for Justice Søren Pind aims to step up information sharing between intelligence services. On account of the recent events, it is necessary to strengthen the cooperation in the area of security.
Denmark has been negotiating a special deal for a continued Europol cooperation since they voted to keep its opt-out on justice and home affairs in December 2015.
They do not want to miss out on important information that could prevent terror attacks. Ministers of EU agreed to step up the information sharing between intelligence services, which is what Denmark needs access to.
EU justice ministers decided to set up a team of national counter-terrorism experts to strengthen Europol. The team is meant to support the EU’s law enforcement authorities as they investigate terrorist threats. They will also draw on Europol’s law enforcement capabilities to monitor the threat from foreign fighters.
Denmark authorities need access to the information which other European countries have to prevent any terrorist attack and ensure Denmark security.