WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration warned major airports and airlines in the Mediterrean area and the Middle East last month to be alert for possible terrorist attacks, a spokesman said today.
"We did issue an alert or an advisory last November but I can't go into the specifics," FAA spokesman Fred Farrar said. "We had information that indicated that they should be on the alert."
Sixteen people were killed and at least 117 injured today when terrorists threw grenades and fired automatic weapons into crowds at check-in counters of Israel's El Al airline in Rome and Vienna.
Farrar said he did not know enough about the Rome and Vienna attacks to say whether they fit the description of violence that the FAA feared when it issued the alert. He said the alert did not specifically cover the holiday period, when more people than usual are traveling.