THE RECENT discovery of two explosive devices carried in the cargo of commercial freight flights highlights the need for the government to involve academics and the private sector in the fight against terror.

Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng made this point on Tuesday as he outlined how these two groups might have helped detect the parcel bombs sent from Yemen early.

Speaking at the 8th annual National Security Seminar, he noted the value of academics in determining trends in terrorist attacks.

Threats, he noted, are rarely ever completely new. Rather, they are updated versions of old methods. Concealing parcel bombs in air cargo had been used by Palestinian terror groups in the 1980s.

Academics can 'show a historical context which in turn may give useful insights into the evolutionary direction that the next threat of the same theme may develop'.

The various specialists in the private sector also play a key role in the fight against terror.

Co-operation necessary