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Munich airport bomb scare sparks manhunt

AFP/DPA/The Local · 20 Jan 2010, 20:46

Published: 20 Jan 2010 17:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Jan 2010 20:46 GMT+01:00

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Authorities seized the computer as the man passed through security at the airport at around 3:40 pm, a police spokesman said. The man then apparently fled inside Terminal 2.

Some 1,000 security officials started a massive manhunt at the airport. All passengers and airport employees were scrutinised before being allowed to leave the building.

Only hours later did police spokesman Albert Poerschke say the man, who has still not been identified, was most likely a businessman in a hurry to catch his flight who was unaware that security personnel wanted to check inside his laptop bag. He cautioned that the scanner could have been set off by chemicals such as perfumes.

"Although the facts were not too clear, the choice was made to take strong measures," Poerschke said. "We wanted to rule out anyone being put in danger."

Story continues below…

The sealed off part of the terminal was for flights to the Schengen Area, where travellers are not required to show passports. The incident caused scores of flights to be delayed or cancelled.

Airports around the world have been on high alert since a Nigerian man was arrested and accused of trying to blow up an airliner over the United States on December 25 with explosive chemicals concealed on his person.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:42 January 20, 2010 by Frenemy
well...that should teach you not set off your son's New Year's fireworks whilst working on your editorial piece.....lol
00:03 January 21, 2010 by hkypuck
"... its owner fled into a secured area...." So much for the "secured area"
08:13 January 21, 2010 by Meringer
I don't get it. If he was an "innocent business man who was unaware security wanted to check his laptop" he would not have "fled". Also, the Munich airport is not that big compared to many other international airports, and it has seperated areas that can be closed off. It is also very open and has many glass windows and doors that allow great visibility all over. A thousand security guards should have been able to find this man.
09:42 January 21, 2010 by duckys
Also, where did the thousand security guards come from? As, every time I go through that airport... It is either a ghost town or limited on police???
03:47 January 22, 2010 by beeker
An international passenger headed to the US wouldn't get far. Wednesday (1300 hr take off ) we were passed through the usual Xray of hand bagage, frisked with the hand wand in the first phase. going to the gate a pasport/ticket check by Lufty personel and then another hand bagage Xray hand wand scan and a full body feel up,

As far as the thousand police, we saw about twenty pairs (usually one kahki and one light blue) walking a beat in the international concourse during our more than hour and half wait. there must be at least 10 times that many in all the other areas of the airport.

At SanFransico, for our connecting flight, the security check was a laugh by comparison.
13:41 January 22, 2010 by Frenemy
Precisely THAT mentality ("security" thru *apparent* security, instead of ACTUAL security) is what gets people killed.

DHS operates under the misguided assumption that you can somehow deter terrorists thru a superficial display of strength (which is bullsh!t). "Marketing" has no place in security protocol! (I can't believe German transportation authorities actually view these clowns as roll models)

TSA is staffed by supremely unqualified, GED-possessing, slackers...thats why they're functionally useless. Case closed.
23:00 January 22, 2010 by Outlander
Unidentified man "probably a busy businessman" sounds like either an important police operative or informant that they were trying to hide or move or a "person of interest" who could be a major criminal or someone with links to major criminals. Catching and identifying such a person might jeopardise whatever grand plans the authorities have in mind to catch the Mr Big or something equally stupid. Eitherway, this proves there's one rule for us and another rule for people who are able to run fast enough into the "secure" area haha.
15:05 January 23, 2010 by Frenemy
There was a time in history when you could scurry into a "secure area" (aka a church) and the law couldn't touch you, as long as you stayed there (sacrosanct refuge). I wonder...is this a case of historical nostalgia?! lol
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