Panama Canal on Terror Alert


Panama has raised its terror alert on the back of the fatal terrorist attacks that took place in Paris recently, heightening security at the canal and in other sensitive locations, according to the Straits Times.

Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama, said: “Security has been increased at airports, the canal and some diplomatic legations.”

The President did not say if there were any specific threats to the canal and did not provide further details on the security changes.

The terror attacks in Paris claimed the lives of 129 people and left hundreds injured.

Major trade lanes remain extra vigilant at times of terrorist attack, as they remain key arteries in the facilitation of world trade, an area extremist groups would be keen to target.

Egypt’s Suez Canal has recently been at threat after thirteen members of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested on suspicion of a bomb plot to be carried out at the Egyptian trade lane.

A document was also recently seized by a UK-based anti-terrorist think-tank named Quilliam which outlined how Islamic State could be preparing to cause chaos to commercial shipping in Europe.

The Panama Canal aims to offer a short cut and safer journey for maritime traffic travelling between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where 8 locks gates have been installed on both sides.

An expansion project is currently underway to widen the Panama Canal, with the project currently at the electro-mechanical installation phase and is set to be completed in April, 2015

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