The international airport in India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, was on high alert after authorities received a call about a terror threat late Monday. The caller added that the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, which was at the center of deadly attacks in November 2008, may also be the target of a bombing.
The manager of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport received a call from a person, who said he overheard five people talking at a local train station about attacking the airport and the Taj hotel, an official with India’s Central Industrial Security Force said, according to the Times of India, a local daily.
The caller, who reportedly identified himself as Vishesh Kumar, also mentioned the timing of the attacks, and said that the attack would be carried out by “explosive laden 16 hired vehicles.”
"Five vehicles will be blown up between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Tuesday near domestic terminal, international terminal and the Taj hotel. The impact might be bigger than the 26/11 terror strike [November 2008 attacks]," the caller reportedly said.
After the call, security at the city's domestic and international airport terminals, and the Taj hotel, was tightened up, according to local reports. The airport's bomb threat assessment committee reportedly called the information about the attacks a “specific threat,” and a bomb squad was deployed and a massive search operation was underway, according to the Hindu, a local newspaper.
However, there were no attacks reported at either location at the specified times and while reports described the call as a hoax, local authorities are yet to confirm it.
Virendra Mishra, a senior police official in Mumbai, said that given the specific nature of the threat, airport officials had to employ additional security measures to rule out the possibility of any attacks, the Hindu reported.
“[We] are also trying to trace Vishesh to find out if he had any other motives to make the call,” Mishra reportedly said.