Following on from at least two incidents where North African men have “broken through airport security” to make a dash for freedom, Lisbon’s PSP police force has issued an appeal to all airport staff, as well as passengers.
“As the PSP cannot be everywhere, we would like staff as well as passengers to be aware of out-of-pattern behaviour”, commander of divisional airport security Dário Prates has told the 5th Security Conference in Estoril.
There are “certain details that should be instantly reported to police”.
These include people seen reading the magazines Inspire and/ or Dabiq; anyone wearing “just one glove” (this harks back to CCTV images of the bombers who attacked Brussels airport) or anyone “asking many questions about airport security”.
Since the end of 2015 – post-Paris terrorist attacks – the PSP has been priming airport workers in Lisbon, Porto and Faro on “how to spot a terrorist” and avoid imminent attacks, reports Diário de Notícias.
Concerns at the moment centre on how sympathizers are radicalised, and how this too could be ‘spotted’, if they happen to work at airports, by colleagues.
The Estoril conference also concentrated on the preference given for targets: only 25% of attacks go for ‘hard targets’, which the PSP define as those with a strong security presence.
The remaining 75% are more focused on soft targets, like hotels, lobbies, restaurants and commercial spaces – hence the need for lay and public support.