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June 28, 2017

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NSB confirms terrorist threat made against Beijing airport

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Security Bureau (NSB, 國安局) confirmed yesterday that it recently received warnings of a possible terrorist attack centered on Beijing Airport.

However, NSB Director-general Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) said he believes the warning is not related to the disappearance of a Malaysia airliner last Saturday.

"We received on March 4 information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks on Beijing International Airport," Tsai told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the Legislature's National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee.

Though the warning of a possible terrorist attack did not target Taipei, the NSB head said his bureau informed related government units, such as the Executive Yuan, the National Security Council, the Criminal Investigation Bureau, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) and the Aviation Police Bureau.

All related units have launched responsive measures accordingly. In particular local authorities have strengthened security in Taiwan's international airports, especially on those flights that are heading toward Beijing, Tsai noted.

In addition, the NSB passed on information to Chinese authorities to alert them of possible terrorist attacks under the Cross-strait Joint Fight against Crime and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement (兩岸共同打擊犯罪協議).

But Tsai said he believes the warning has nothing to do with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 last Saturday.

Tsai made the remarks in response to local media reports yesterday that said local aviation authorities were warned prior to the incident that an alleged terror attack could be responsible for the disappearance of the Malaysia airliner.

During the committee session, Tsai further confirmed that it was alerted by Taipei-based China Airlines to a possible terrorist attack targeting Beijing, but not pertaining to the missing airline.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from radar screens about two hours after taking off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft, which was carrying 227 passengers and a 12-member crew, at about 2:40 a.m. as it was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City.

One Taiwanese national was on board the Boeing 777-200 bound for Beijing.

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