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Mediterranean cruises could face terror attack
Posted on 01/02/2016

SecurityTurkey

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Cruise companies operating in the Mediterranean have been warned against possible attacks by Islamic State group, reinforcing the threat for off-shore targets.

A senior NATO naval officer has warned cruise ships in the Mediterranean that they face a growing terror threat from Islamic State militants. The warning follows intelligence that Islamic State militants want to build a maritime arm, just as Al Qaeda did.

With increasing militarisation along its shores and the spread of sophisticated Russian and Chinese weapons to armed groups, vice admiral Clive Johnstone believes the Mediterranean to be particularly at risk. Though he doesn't believe that militant groups are specifically targeting the cruise industry, there is still a "horrible opportunity" for a misfire to hit a cruise liner or a container ship.

Cruises at risk of misfire

Cruises at risk of misfire
© Wiki Commons

"I think it won't be a planned, horrible mischievous act, I think it will be an act which is almost a mistake, or it will be an act of random terrorism that will suddenly have extraordinary implications for the Western world," he told the Telegraph.

In response to his words, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) issued a statement to reassure passengers that their safety is the top priority. Guests and staff must pass a rigorous screening process to board the ship and their luggage is inspected thoroughly.

"Security staff are well-trained and experienced; some are former law enforcement officers," read its statement. "Port and onshore facilities, infrastructure, and passenger security and services in destinations are strictly scrutinized."

Several cruise companies have already altered their itineraries to avoid high risk areas. Along with stops in Tunisia, Crystal Cruises also cancelled Turkish ports of call in light of safety concerns .

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