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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
Salmond praises terror response
Alex Salmond at Glasgow Airport
Mr Salmond visited the airport on Sunday
The first minister has paid tribute to the "exceptional" effort which allowed Glasgow Airport to reopen less than two days after a terror attack.

Alex Salmond said the "spectacular achievement" was symbolic of the desire the country had to return to normality.

He added that Scotland should be proud of its Muslim community, which he said contributed greatly to society.

And he denied the country had been complacent about the risk posed by terrorism.

The airport was fully operational on Monday morning despite a Jeep Cherokee which had been loaded with gas cylinders crashing into its main terminal building on Saturday.

Just about the only people who are not working today are the folk who are flying out on holiday from Glasgow and other airports
Alex Salmond
First Minister

Speaking of the response to the attack on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland, Mr Salmond said: "I think it has been much better than adequate, it has been exceptional, particularly from our emergency services.

"Think of it. Only two days afterwards, less than that, one-and-a-half days after a major terrorist incident at Glasgow Airport, the airport is up and running and functioning normally.

"That's a spectacular achievement and I think it is symbolic of the attitude of the rest of the country.

"Today it has been back to work as normal. Indeed, just about the only people who are not working today are the folk who are flying out on holiday from Glasgow and other airports."

Mr Salmond said that the information he had received from the police indicated that community relations had not been damaged by the attacks.

'Stand united'

He said Scottish Muslims had been reassured by revelations that those responsible for the attack, and the attempted car bombings in London, had not been present in the country for long.

Mr Salmond added: "We should be exceptionally proud of our Muslim community in Scotland. They contribute enormously to the vitality of Scottish life and indeed to our economy and I don't think this incident any more than any other we have seen in recent years is going to divide our community.

"The correct response to criminals who commit outrages is to stand united and that's exactly what we intend to do."

The first minister said the effectiveness of the emergency response was testament to the procedures and planning that had been put in place, and denied press comments that Scotland had been "shaken out of its complacency".

"Scotland has never been complacent," Mr Salmond said.

"Our emergency procedures, the emergency communications sub-committee of the cabinet, which meets the police committees, the functioning of the airport, the liaison between airport staff and the police and fire service, all of these things have been practiced many times over and that's why they've worked so effectively over the last two days."

Alex Salmond: "We stand united"


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