All scheduled flights between the United States and Istanbul were suspended for a brief duration due to the aftermath of a terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
It was reported that the terrorist attack had left at least 36 people dead and 147 others injured.
While the attack was taking place, there were 10 airborne flights, which were heading to U.S. destinations from Ataturk Airport. All flights belonged to Turkish Airlines, according to ABC.
According to a senior U.S. official, preparations were taken to isolate and search the flights after they landed. The official also informed that they will be permitted to proceed to their gates once the search is over.
The airport attack established another example of the nightmare feared by security experts. It seems like an extremely difficult task to defend “soft targets,” where a small group of terrorists easily create widespread and deadly destruction, according to NBC.
Fortunately, there was no incident when the first flight landed at New York’s JFK Airport at 5:30 p.m. According to several reports, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Miami and San Francisco were all scheduled to have flights from Istanbul.
Like many airports across the Middle East, Ataturk Airport has a security setup at the terminal entrance. The setup includes X-rays scanners.
Being the world’s 11th-busiest international airport, Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport is known to have almost 62 million passengers traveling through it in 2015.
“If you have a determined terrorist who is willing to give up their life … it’s almost impossible to prevent that across the board,” said John Pistole, a former administrator with the Transportation Security Administration.