Vietnam establishes aviation security agency to tackle terrorist threats

By Pham Du   November 15, 2021 | 04:03 am PT
Vietnam establishes aviation security agency to tackle terrorist threats
Forces practice to ensure security for Tan Son Nhat International Airport during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) event hosted by Vietnam in 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Nguyen
The Ministry of Public Security has established an Air Security Department and tasked it with preventing terrorism and ensuring flight security.

The ministry said Monday that the new department headed by Lieutenant Colonel Phan Huy Van will function under the ministry’s Immigration Department.

The department will be in charge of dealing with all situations related to aviation security, collecting and forecasting security-related situations. It can arrange to have security forces on flights in case it has reason to believe it is necessary.

The new agency will also handle illegal interference situations in coordination with flight crew. It can also independently handle unexpected situations that threaten security on moving aircraft. In such situations, the force is allowed to use weapons, support tools, force or technical means to neutralize attacks on the aircraft.

In special cases, the air security force will report to the Director of Immigration Management to propose that the Transport Ministry’s Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam suspends flights believed at risk of terrorism or other threatening behaviors.

It will also coordinate with relevant units in the escort of criminals from abroad to Vietnam and vice versa by air.

While Vietnam has not recorded any evidence of terrorist organizations' intent to commit suicide bombing on its territory, it has been reported that Southeast Asia is emerging as a source of manpower for radical Islamic terrorist organizations. It has been said that representative missions in Vietnam are at risk of becoming the target of attacks by international terrorist organizations, according to the ministry.

Vietnam has also reportedly received a request to deploy security forces in the air when operating direct flights to the U.S.

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