Tuesday January 05 2010
A furious Government has demanded that Slovakia explain itself after an unsuspecting electrician was allowed to carry explosives on a flight to Dublin in a botched security exercise.
The diplomatic row erupted after Slovak airport police randomly planted powerful RDX in the 49-year-old’s bag but took three days to warn authorities he had unwittingly evaded scanning machines.
It is understood Government officials were angry about the high level security breach and have called for answers.
A spokesman said: “The Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, has ordered a full report into what has transpired.”
Slovak authorities began the live security tests last Saturday but only contacted Irish police to warn of the lapse.
Officers planted several items, including the RDX plastic explosive, in the luggage of eight unsuspecting passengers as they prepared to board international flights at Bratislava and Poprad Traty airports.
A Garda source said: “It seems his bag was picked randomly – he is not in any trouble with us. We have verified the whole thing through proper police channels and security chiefs in the Slovak authorities.”
One security source said: “If that much explosive was detonated, it would cause serious damage, it would kill if it went off in a plane – it’s an unbelievable mistake.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about to put that kind of explosive on a plane, unaccounted for.”
Seven passengers were stopped as they went through scanning machines while the electrician unwittingly evaded checks at Poprad Tatry and made it to Dublin. He was carrying 4oz (about 90 grams) of the explosive material.