What was supposed to be a test of airport security has turned into a major political blunder for the government of Slovakia. Explosives planted in an unsuspecting passenger’s baggage got him arrested when he arrived in Ireland.
What should have been a secret test of airport security has left Slovak authorities severely embarrassed.
They planted explosives in the baggage of an unsuspecting passengers for a security drill.
He made it all the way to Ireland where the innocent victim was arrested.
The government's apologizing.
[Erik Tomas, Slovak Interior Ministry Spokesman]:
"We are very sorry that the good intention of providing increased security for citizens has become a problem. This is a professional failure of
a police officer and will lead to disciplinary action."
The unwitting explosives mule has been released without charge.
Security analyst Milan Zitny says police have no right to tamper with passengers' luggage and the embarrassing affair has highlighted a wholly illegal practice.
[Milan Zitny, Security Analyst]:
"In political terms it will be very uncomfortable because everybody will be asking how something like this could happen. Police say they normally do this but I think this is a much bigger problem in international terms. They acknowledged that they routinely break the law. Slovak police can't give explosives to passengers, real or fake. They can't just open their luggage."
Slovak police are admitting a mistake was made but senior officers are playing down the risk to passengers.
[Tibor Mako, Slovak Borders Chief]:
"I'm not a pyrotechnic expert but according to their explanation this amount of explosives wouldn't even break a door."
Such reassurances are unlikely to calm aviation security fears under the international spotlight since a suspected militant tried to blow up a U.S. passenger plane with explosives hidden in his underwear.