• Germany's news in English
 

Namibia 'bomb' was only a security test

Published: 19 Nov 2010 07:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Nov 2010 17:54 GMT+01:00

"Experts from the (German) federal police force examined the luggage on site," Thomas de Maizière told reporters after a meeting of interior ministers from Germany's 16 states.

"The outcome is that the luggage turned out to be a so-called real test suitcase made by a company in the United States. This company is a manufacturer of alarm and detection systems and these real test suitcases are built to test security measures."

De Maizière did not say precisely who planted the dummy. It was being checked “when and to whom the bag was sold.”

He said he thought it was ''highly unlikely'' that German security forces were involved in the test, though this was being investigated. It remains unclear why the incident was allowed to turn into a full-scale terrorism scare.

"The important thing for all of us is that no explosives were found in the luggage and that, as far as we know at this point in the investigation, there was at no point a danger to passengers posed by this luggage," he said.

Namibian police said neither the US government nor the German or Namibian governments were behind the security test.

"It will be determined who deposited it. The governments of US, Germany and Namibia were not aware of the parcel," police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga told reporters.

"It is devoid of truth that the US government put the device there to test how good the Namibian security is."

The laptop bag seized at the airport of the Namibian capital Windhoek on Wednesday morning contained no explosives, though it did consist of batteries connected by wire to a working clock. The discovery caused a major security scare and forced authorities to conduct further security checks on the Air Berlin flight to Munich, delaying the flight for about six hours.

Germany nevertheless remains on high alert because of the threat of an attack. The head of the Federal Police, Matthias Seeger, said the risk of attack was greater than ever before.

“On a scale of one – meaning no danger – to 10 – meaning an acute danger – we are at the moment around nine,” he told Friday’s edition of daily Bild.

Heightened security measures are likely to be maintained at least until the end of the year.

“Security authorities are prepared for the state of emergency to go on at least until the end of the year,” police union chief Rainer Wendt told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Holidays and free days for December have already been cancelled for police in many parts of the country.

De Maizière raised the threat level for Germany on Wednesday, warning that there were “concrete” indications of a planned attack around the end of November.

Heavily armed police are now patrolling airports, train stations and busy public areas.

An ICE train was stopped and evacuated at the main train station of Düsseldorf on Friday because of a suspicious item. A Federal Police spokesman said passengers on the ICE 609 from Kiel to Basel in Switzerland noticed the item which seemed to them to be out of place.

The train was stopped at Düsseldorf station and about 230 passengers evacuated. Bomb experts examined the item and gave it the all-clear, whereupon the train continued its journey.

“The anti-terror warning is being taken seriously,” the police spokesman said.

Also Friday, a platform at Hannover's main train station was evacuated because of a suspicious plastic bag, a police spokesman said.

AFP/DPA/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

08:50 November 19, 2010 by catjones
*speculated that US or African authorities may have been behind the dummy. There was no evidence German authorities were involved,*

When you speculate, that's the same as having no evidence.
11:21 November 19, 2010 by mixxim
Good test. What would have happened if it had not been found? Next time try a live one!
14:38 November 19, 2010 by XFYRCHIEF
@catjones - where did you come up with that quote? Its not in the article.

@South Arican - how did you arrive at the conclusion that the US did this?

Oh, I forgot, anytime anything, anywhere happens that is bad, just blame it on the Americans.
15:05 November 19, 2010 by derExDeutsche
@ HEM

Bravo! However, it does not change the fact that blame will be placed if a real event were to transpire. You can't blame anybody for showing up to work. not the Security that found the bomb, not the Govt. that released a warning, and not the media who report it. ie. theLocal is not complicit with Terrorists because it publishes a developing story about a non-bomb on an Airplane. Even if it does show up on Drudge.
16:08 November 19, 2010 by XFYRCHIEF
Once again, the way things are stated leads to misunderstandings. "...a U. S. made dummy..." No, it was NOT a "U. S. made" dummy. It was a dummy made by a company located in the U. S. It could have just as easily been made in Germany. If the intent is to imply that the United States was responsible, then where is the proof? Since the terror concern ("...around nine.") right now is focused on Germany, which country would have the most to gain - politically - by getting a fake bomb on board an aircraft bound for Germany? For those who argue that it was an American operation to garner support for the TSA's controversial screening, that's crazy. The "bomb" was in a suitcase, not someone's underpants.
17:13 November 19, 2010 by SockRayBlue
It would have been better to detect the device and get rid of it ...quietly. Why broadcast these things to the world?
17:41 November 19, 2010 by auniquecorn
Well sh!t, Now we´re gonna get hit with a Fake Bomb security test tax.
17:47 November 19, 2010 by duckys
hey....

that makes me wonder why we dont have a terrorism tax yet...
17:54 November 19, 2010 by CoolBlueIce
I hope my friends in Germany enjoyed our (USA) little early April Fool's Joke...

Got cha! You've been punked!
20:22 November 19, 2010 by wxman
@South African,

1) If you tell them in advance, it's a compromised test and will reveal nothing.

2) If you do it, of course you'll be arrested. You aren't a security official tasked with protecting the flying public.
20:44 November 19, 2010 by Johnne
@catjones,

They mentioned the US and "Namibian" Authoritiies not African. I think you should know that Africa is a continent and Namibia is a country in Africa, ok?
01:07 November 20, 2010 by Frenemy
@XFYRCHIEF: Exactly! "made in" and "made by" are to very different things. And simply stating "a US made bomb" is bound to lead to misunderstandings.

...unless the whole point was to stir up confusion and mistrust ;-)
02:14 November 20, 2010 by MonkeyMania
So does this get a "Sehr Gut" in the "Stiftung Warentest" on "test.de"?
09:46 November 20, 2010 by wood artist
There is still one thing here that truly puzzles me.

It has been widely reported that the bag didn't have any tags or labels on it, no identification, and no one claimed it. If that is true, why were they trying to put in on the plane in the first place?

I can understand them screening the bag if it was abandoned, but according to what I've read, they were going to put it on a specific plane. Why? That part still doesn't make sense.

wa
15:11 November 22, 2010 by DOZ
Not hard to figure it as a fake. No explosives. If it contained an explosive, it would be traceable, since all manufactured explosives have a Chemical Signature that allow it's path to be traced. I suspect that it was a ploy to reduced dissention to NATO's Afghanistan Mission Extension.
Today's headlines
Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists
A set of keys found at the scene of the crime. Photo:DPA

Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists

After police made a public appeal for information in the arson attack on a refugee home on a television programme on Sunday evening, more than 30 members of the public got in touch. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat
Merkel and Tsipras meet in Brussels on 23 April. Photo: DPA

Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat

Athens will resume talks with its creditors Monday, a Greek government source said, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke on the phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel. READ  

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola on the sidelines against Hertha on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title

FC Bayern Munich found out they had won the Bundesliga title with four games to spare when their only rivals Vfl Wolfsburg lost 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday. READ  

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights
Investigators at the scene of the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in mid-April 2015. Photo: DPA

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights

Berlin knew the risks of flying over war-torn east Ukraine before Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky last year but did not inform German airlines, media reported on Sunday. READ  

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride
Photo: DPA

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride

Dozens of bikers from pro-Kremlin gang the Night Wolves on Saturday set off on a ride to Berlin ahead of the anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II, despite Poland and Germany barring the riders. READ  

VW patriarch Piëch resigns
Photo: DPA

VW patriarch Piëch resigns

Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Piëch, has resigned as head of the German auto giant's supervisory board with immediate effect, the company announced Saturday. READ  

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,135
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd