Taiwan warned of attacks; official sees no link to missing plane
Central News Agency
2014-03-10 11:14 AM
Taipei, March 10 (CNA) News surfaced Monday that Taiwan had received warnings earlier this month about threats of terrorist attacks on targets in China but officials said the warnings were most likely unrelated to the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner on Saturday.

The authorities received information on March 4 about possible attacks on Beijing Capital International Airport and the city's subway system, said Tsai De-sheng, director-general of Taiwan's National Security Bureau (NSB), confirming an Apple Daily front-page report. He added, however, that there was little connection between the tip and the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing early Saturday en route to Beijing.

The NSB passed on the information to Chinese authorities as well as to Taiwan's Cabinet office of homeland security and other local intelligence, law enforcement and aviation authorities, Tsai said. As a result, airport security in Taiwan was tightened and extra measures were taken to ensure the safety of flights bound for Beijing, he said.

The tip apparently was first received by China Airlines, one of Taiwan's two major airline companies.

Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Deputy Director-General Lee Wan-lee told reporters that the CAA was alerted by China Airlines on March 4. The warning included threats of a bomb attack on the Beijing airport, he said.

Other CAA officials said the agency could not authenticate the warning and it was not clear whether other countries had received similar warnings.

China Airlines said it received the warning from a caller who identified himself as a terrorist. The caller first spoke in French but as the switchboard operator could not understand him, he then switched to Mandarin Chinese, the airline said.

The reported call came just after an attack March 1 in a train station in Kunming, China, in which more than 30 people were killed. The Aviation Police Bureau said it receives tips on possible attacks once every few months and has always treated them seriously, stepping up security whenever and wherever necessary. (By Wang Shu-fen, Tseng Ying-yu and Jay Chen)

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