The alert, issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) today to airports all over India, said the order would be effective for a week's period, according to official sources.
''The alert was sounded after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US informed the BCAS of an e-mail warning of hijacking of US-bound flights emanating from India.'' Soon after this the BCAS passed on the information to the security agencies involved in airport security and the Director of Airports along with the 'alert' orders, he said.
''The e-mail, sent by unknown entities and originating from an Indian 'address', was received by the FBI yesterday at its US headquarters.'' While the 'target' was US-bound flights, the nature of threat mentioned in the e-mail was 'hijacking', the official added.
Just three days back, airports across the nation had been put on 'high security alert' following an anonymous warning that Al Qaeda was targeting airports in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had sounded the alert after the Trichy airport staff found an anonymous letter, written in 'Tamil' a day before (November eight), warning of possible Al Qaeda strikes.
According to the handwritten letter, addressed to the airport director that was found in an envelop in a room under construction at the Trichy airport by an airport employee, airports in Tamil Nadu and Kerala would be targetted by the Al Qaeda.
Soon after this, security was tightened at all the airports and measures such as secondary check before boarding, physical checking of hand baggage, increased perimeter guarding and surveillance were put in place.
Corroborating this, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which provides security at airports, had also said the threat was specifically directed at seven airports -- Trichy, Madurai, Chennai, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode (Kerala) -- situated in Southern parts of India.
However, as a precaution, vehicles of the airport staff and their baggage were also being checked and "spotters" - men trained to identify suspicious people - posted at airports, it added.
UNI AN BDP MIR KP1430