JERUSALEM (Nov. 15)
A spokesman for Lufthansa, the West German airline, disclosed here today that 62 countries have agreed to have special Lufthansa security guards stationed at their airports to protect Lufthansa planes from hijackers and terrorists.
According to Axel Linner, assistant public relations officer of the airline who is vacationing in Israel, the decision to dispatch the guards was made jointly by Lufthansa executives and the West German government. It was understood that some guards have already been stationed at their posts.
Linner said the security agents would carry out security checks, guard Lufthansa aircraft and inspect every item carried aboard the planes including food. “We hope to show all airlines, including El Al, that the answer to the terrorist threat lies in stringent and thorough security controls on the ground,” Linner said. He declined to say how many security agents were involved except that “it is adequate.”
Linner disclosed that six Eastern European Communist bloc countries had declined to accept Lufthansa guards at their airports. They are the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Rumania. Lufthansa flights between Frankfurt and Lod have been carrying special security officers for the past two years. Linner declined to say whether they were armed. He said that many airlines opposed armed marshals on their flights on grounds that their presence increased the danger to passengers.