• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Namibia 'bomb' was only a security test

The Local · 19 Nov 2010, 17:54

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.

Story continues below…

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
Is German diplomacy getting too chummy with Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA/AFP Pool.

Critics have been questioning the German Foreign Minister's recent series of comments about working closer with Russia, with some labelling the diplomat a "Russia-sympathizer".

Police investigate after mosque door is bricked shut
The bricked-up door. Photo: Facebook/Netzwerk für Flüchtlinge in Parchim.

Unknown people have bricked up the entrance to a mosque in northeastern Germany and stuck racist flyers to their masonry work.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Law to force mums to give up identity of child's real father
Photo: DPA

Germany has drafted a law requiring mothers to inform their partners if their children were fathered by another man, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

Gallery
Germans race bulls too, but with a difference
Photo: DPA

The most important sporting events only happen every four years: the World Cup, the Olympics, and of course the Münsing ox race.

Attempted murder charge for Isis teen who stabbed cop
A police officer stands on a train platform at Hannover main station. Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Monday they had brought charges against a 16-year-old girl who allegedly stabbed a policeman in February in an operation for Isis.

Nearly 9,000 refugee children reported missing: report
Refugee children in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

German media reported on Monday that the number of refugee children reported as missing has doubled to reach nearly 9,000.

EU nations must not refuse Muslim migrants: Merkel
Photo: DPA

The refusal of some EU countries to accept Muslim refugees is "unacceptable", Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday as Germany called for quotas to divide the influx throughout the bloc.

Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
7,431
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd