Just days after a suspected Nigerian terrorist tried blowing up a Northwest Airlines flight on its way to Detroit, the IDF and Israel Airports Authority were holding a large-scale emergency exercise at Ben-Gurion International Airport Tuesday.
During the exercise, which was set to include the IDF Home Front Command and the Israel Police, security forces were drilling a number of threat scenarios. The exercise started at noon and end at 10 p.m.
The IDF Spokesperson released a statement claiming that the drill was part of the military's annual training regimen and was not connected to recent events. During the exercise, forces will deploy throughout the airport.
Meanwhile Monday, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's failed Christmas attack, saying it was in retaliation for a US operation against the group in Yemen.
In a statement posted on the Internet, the group said that Abdulmutallab coordinated with members of the group. The group said the would-be bomber used explosives manufactured by al-Qaida members.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is an alliance based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
US President Barack Obama also said Monday he had ordered a review of the nation's watchlist system and of its air safety regulations, and has asked his national security team to keep up the pressure on terrorists aiming to attack the US.
The president, issuing a statement during his holiday vacation in Honolulu, said US authorities would not rest until they found everyone involved in the attack in Detroit and held them accountable. Obama's remarks were his first in public about the attempted terror attack.
Israel has one of the most advanced airport security apparatuses and prepares for a wide-range of threats, from attempts by terrorists to smuggle a bomb aboard a plane to hijacking attempts. The Israel Air Force is also always on high alert in case a passenger plane is hijacked and crashed into an Israeli city.
AP contributed to this report.
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