Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security Transportation News

Slovak Police Planted Explosives On Air Travelers 926

Posted by kdawson
from the carrying-reality-tv-too-far dept.
Entropy98 writes "Slovakian Police have planted explosives on 8 unsuspecting air travelers. Seven were stopped by airport security, including one man arrested and held upon arriving at a Dublin airport. Unbelievably, one innocent traveler made it home with 90 grams of explosives, and had his flat surrounded by the police and bomb squad."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slovak Police Planted Explosives On Air Travelers

Comments Filter:
  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NonSequor (230139) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:43PM (#30662696) Journal

    What the crap, man?

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by komisar (449368) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:58PM (#30662920)

      How about we repeat the exercise daily at randomly chosen airports around the globe?

      Screeners who miss the contraband (or allow a passenger to exit through an entry way) would be stripped of badges and ids, fired on the spot and escorted outside the airport.

      Passengers originating at or transiting through airports with a poor screening record would be denied entry to the US.

      Seriously.

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mad Merlin (837387) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:05PM (#30663016) Homepage

        How about the US just flat out denies all air travel to, from and/or through the US. It'd be far less inconvenient for everyone involved.

        • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Schemat1c (464768) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:14PM (#30663120) Homepage

          How about we realize that we are far more likely to be killed by our car or the food we eat then by terrorists?

          How about we quit giving away all of our hard won freedoms like a bunch of scared pussies?

          • by schon (31600) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:29PM (#30663324)

            How about we realize that we are far more likely to be killed by our car or the food we eat then by terrorists?

            I don't understand - if you're killed by your car or food, aren't you already dead? How is a terrorist supposed to kill you if you've already been killed by your car or food?

          • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Kell Bengal (711123) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:33PM (#30663358)

            How about we quit giving away all of our hard won freedoms like a bunch of scared pussies?

            Sadly, time and time again, the population has shown itself more than willing to lie down and meow.

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:35PM (#30663376)
        That is the stupidest thing I think I have ever heard.

        For one, this would make security theater even more pronounced, at least with the way it is now there is a chain of blame meaning that no one person is usually blamed for a certain incident. For another it would make policy even stupider than it already is, its bad enough when you can't take liquids on the plane, whats next? Them searching through your laptop, prying off every key to try to find explosive residue underneath it? Already, human and civil rights are raped when you travel by air, adding more stupid policies aren't going to make us any safer. If someone really wants to blow up a plane they will find some way to if they are reasonably intelligent, unafraid of death, and we aren't velcroed naked to the plane during takeoff.

        Plus, in some countries airport security is bad, they don't have as much security theater as the US but somehow they manage to have avoid hijacking and terrorism. The US is about the only country that requires passengers to take off their shoes, has that made us any safer? Have you seen shoe bombings all across Europe, Asia and Australia because of this? No. It is security theater. The US tries to be high and mighty in security theater yet other countries have a lower rate of air incidents and have a "poorer screening record" than the US.

        Your policy would effectively deny entry to the US from many, many, many different countries. Effectively a travel ban. This is a bad thing to both the security, foreign policy and economic rights of the US.

        There comes a time when you have to look at the US travel screening system and realize it takes away a bunch of human rights, puts us an a 1984-style dystopia where people are afraid to look, talk, act or even think "suspiciously" thinking it will cause alarm and destroys the US economy. No one wants to fly on planes when the TSA wants to treat us all like criminals. No matter how well the airline treats you, your basic rights to not be treated like a criminal are violated by the TSA. Then because no one wants to fly, the airlines lose money, when they lose money they try to squeeze every single penny out of you, when you do that you don't want to fly even more then, and it repeats.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ScrewMaster (602015) *

          That is the stupidest thing I think I have ever heard.

          You must be new to Slashdot. Believe me, that was far from the stupidest thing I've read around here.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by roc97007 (608802)

        > Screeners who miss the contraband (or allow a passenger to exit through an entry way) would be stripped of badges and ids, fired on the spot and escorted outside the airport.

        I don't think you can. I'm pretty sure they're Union.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:01PM (#30662968)
      I really don't userstand why they didn't use harmless bits of plastic the right size made to smell like explosives by rubbing against it or something. I work with people that do work with explosives (seismic surveys) and they set off airport detectors with their boots or other work clothing at times.
    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:01PM (#30662970) Homepage Journal

      Yes.. testing of security systems.. madness.

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by petermgreen (876956) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:14PM (#30663118) Homepage

        Using innocent and unsuspecting members of the public to do it though seems like a pretty fucked up thing to be doing and I hope whoevers idea this was gets punished appropriately.

        If you are a goverment want to do a test of airport security systems then fine but use someone who has agreed to do it, agree it with the governments of target countries first and give that person ID so that they can prove that they are doing an official test.

        • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by raddan (519638) * on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:46PM (#30663536)
          Not that I agree with the Slovakian police in this particular case, but what they did here was essentially a double-blind trial of the airport detection systems in the field-- which is an important hurdle they should be able to pass if they want to claim that they aren't just expensive junk. There was an article here on Slashdot not too long ago about how the U.S. military was bemoaning the fact that Iraqi security forces were using divining rods to detect hidden explosives. The Iraqis claim that they are effective, and in non-double-blind trials that may even be true. But not for the reason that the Iraqis think.

          Making the trial double-blind controls for other variables, like the bomber being detected by security personnel because he's "twitchy". Someone who doesn't know he/she is carrying explosives won't act abnormally because they don't know they're going to bomb anything. If you're making bomb-detecting equipment, you may consider that an important scenario to be able to catch. The Slovakian approach is elegant, if somewhat immoral.
          • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mobby_6kl (668092) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @09:24PM (#30663956)

            First of all, as has been already mentioned, the terrorists will know that they're carrying a bomb, and that they are going to kill themselves in a few hours.

            The second point would be that it's still possible to do a proper experiment. Divide the volunteers into several groups: group 1 will be told they are carrying a bomb, group 2 will be told that they may be carrying it, and group 3 will be told they aren't going to get it. Plant the bomb on some (but not all) of them or their luggage. Observe. Bonus: don't get your citizens shipped off to gitmo.

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:26PM (#30663276)

        Yes.. testing of security systems.. madness.

        Yes madness. If you're going to test the security system, you do it using government agents operating in plain clothes, you don't just go planting shit on regular passengers.

    • by williamhb (758070) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:08PM (#30663048) Journal

      I'm not that surprised it got through. About 15 years ago a friend's brother inadvertently traveled through at least six airports with a WW2 grenade casing (explosive core removed) in his luggage, courtesy of one of his drunk friends hiding it in there as a joke. He only found it when he unpacked after getting back home from his travels. Sure there were no explosives so it wouldn't set of a chemical detector, but you'd have thought the X-Ray operators might have raised their eyebrows at something clearly grenade-shaped..

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      So do they also do this with drugs? You hear about it all the time.

    • by misof (617420) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:29PM (#30663318)
      I'm Slovak. The version presented in our press goes as follows. Planting and then detecting the explosives was a part of a dog training security exercise of the Slovak police. The exercise was a disaster. Out of the 8 items planted in the travellers' luggage only 7 were found successfully. These are probably the "seven stopped by airport security" from the summary. The seven do NOT include the guy in Dublin. That is the unlucky guy that got the eighth piece. His luggage passed all security checks and he unknowingly brought the piece of explosives with him into Dublin, where he was then detained by the Irish police. This more or less matches the BBC version linked from the summary, only the summary is wrong. Please update it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by clone53421 (1310749)

        Not only did the Slovak security not stop the guy, but the Dublin security didn’t stop him either. He took his luggage home with the explosives still inside, unpacked and still didn’t find them, and 3 days later Slovak police called him and told him there were explosives in his luggage, right before the Irish police raided his apartm– um, his flat.

  • WTF?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wisesifu (1358043) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:43PM (#30662700)
    WTF?!
  • by Art Popp (29075) * on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:43PM (#30662706)

    To the Slovakian Minister of the Interior,

            I wish to express profound regret on the part of the US for failing to categorize and properly label DVDs obviously sold to your country. Odd as it may seem, the "Police Academy" video series was never intended as instructional.

            Sincerest apologies,

            I. M. Spending
            President of Physics

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:44PM (#30662716)

    They must have had CIA assistance.

  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:46PM (#30662742)

    Seriously. This could get someone killed. Someone needs to be punished for this.

    (Assuming, of course, that this report is true.)

  • Multilayer WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:54PM (#30662878)

    1. WTF: No theat to passengers? At the very least 8 passengers were put into serious danger, considering the trigger-happyness of some guards. Your bags get opened, they find explosives, now don't twitch the wrong way or else...

    2. WTF: What about the whole security theater we have to endure? The whole privacy invasion and they can't even find effing explosives? Just do away with the whole crap and be done with it, at least the planes will go on time again that way. Because that showed one thing: If you want to blow up a plane, you can. You just might have to send a few guys, one of them will make it. And that's pretty much all you need. After all, as a terrorist you don't really care about picking a special target plane. Any will do to cause fear.

    But I'm sure we'll soon get info how the whole thing works like a charm, after all 7 out of 8 bombs would have been detected...

    • Re:Multilayer WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RobVB (1566105) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:18PM (#30663168)

      But I'm sure we'll soon get info how the whole thing works like a charm, after all 7 out of 8 bombs would have been detected...

      I don't even think that's the case.

      FTFA:

      The explosive was one of eight pieces of contraband placed with unsuspecting passengers at Bratislava Airport last weekend, broadcaster RTE reported.

      and

      Airport security detected seven of the illicit items, but the eighth - 90g of research development explosive - managed to escape detection.

      They planted eight pieces of contraband, one of which (the one that got through) was a high-grade explosive. They don't mention what the other seven pieces were, but they could have been steak knives, scissors, nail clippers, forks or drugs. All of which are easily detected with things that don't detect bombs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by clone53421 (1310749)

        They planted eight pieces of contraband, one of which (the one that got through) was a high-grade explosive. They don't mention what the other seven pieces were

        According to this [irishtimes.com], they were all high-grade plastic explosives.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by netruner (588721)
      One problem with this whole thing is that if the luggage owner doesn't know there is contraband in it, they will act differently than someone who knows what they're carrying.

      Observing "suspicious behavior" is a big part of picking this stuff out.

      I think this should be enough to invalidate their test unless they were intentionally isolating the behavior observation methods out.
      • Re:Multilayer WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:24PM (#30663254)

        Does it matter? Imagine I'm a terrorist and want to blow up a plane. Do I take my explosives with me? Hell no. Instead, I'll seed a few other travelers. For multiple reasons:

        1) The obvious one you mention, I might act suspicious because I know I will suicidally blow up the plane. They will probably search me throughly because I'm nervous. They won't search some random travellers.

        2) They might find one or two of my explosives. By spreading them over a number of people I increase my chance to get the items on the plane.

        The test is valid. What matters is that these things are on the plane. You might remember that the 9/11 attackers didn't bring their weapons on board themselves either.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:02PM (#30662974)
    I really wonder what American authorities would have done! This stunt is so crazy that I almost can't believe it's real.
  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:14PM (#30663122)

    Could this be another Police test gone awry ?

    "Huge" quantities of cocaine delivered to supermarkets in Spain [bbc.co.uk] hidden in boxes of bananas.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:15PM (#30663134) Homepage

    We all know that the "security" is crap (and now we have more evidence that those enforcing it are loons).

  • by whrde (1120405) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:20PM (#30663196) Homepage
    I hope they at least chose non-smokers.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:28PM (#30663306)
    My mother managed to smuggle a pen knife on board an airplane in her makeup case. My sister had a knife on the OUTSIDE of her backpack; the supervisor made the screener run the backpack through twice because the screener didn't see it the first time! You try looking at thousands of x-rays a day and see how well you pay attention. Human monitors are inherently fallible; our best bet is automated chemical-sniffing technology that can easily be trained to look for new forms of explosives.
  • by beej (82035) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:29PM (#30663314) Homepage Journal

    If you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about!

    Maybe NOW people will stop saying that. Probably still wishful thinking on my part, I admit.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:43PM (#30663514) Journal

    including one man arrested and held upon arriving at a Dublin airport

    He was arrested in his flat, not in the airport. From TFA:

    He was arrested on Tuesday morning ... Slovakian police alerted their Irish counterparts on Tuesday morning, and the man's flat near the city centre was cordoned off while bomb disposal experts removed the explosives for further examination.

    From this article [irishtimes.com]:

    He unpacked his bag but the explosives had been concealed so well that he did not find them. The Slovakian authorities only realised yesterday that one batch of explosives was missing. They established the Dublin-bound passenger had not been detected.

  • by spamcop (1714222) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:14PM (#30664394)
    These articles are in slovak language: http://tinyurl.com/yeut367 [tinyurl.com] http://tinyurl.com/y8jozyj [tinyurl.com] Basicly, they were testing dog in real conditions, but after finding one explosive, policeman with dog went to a second airplane and forgot to look for another explosive in first one.
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:10AM (#30665460)
    Based on my novice attempts at researching odds, I found you have about a 1/12,300 chance of being killed in a motor vehicle wreck each year and a 1/40,000,000 chance of having a terrorist bomber board your flight since 9/11 (United States only). I flew home on December 27th two days after the attempted bombing and I slept the entire way back.

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo

Working...