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Airline Security Theater

There is an old statistics joke about terrorism: The odds that a terrorist bomb is on your flight are very low. How do you ensure there isn’t one? Bring your own bomb – the odds that there are TWO bombs on a plane is nearly impossible!

Except in Slovakia.

From the AP:

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – A failed airport security test ended up with a Slovak man unwittingly carrying hidden explosives in his luggage on a flight to Dublin, Slovak officials admitted Wednesday β€” a mistake that enraged Irish authorities and shocked aviation experts worldwide.

While the Slovaks blamed the incident on “a silly and unprofessional mistake,” Irish officials and security experts said it was foolish for the Slovaks to hide actual bomb parts in the luggage of innocent passengers under any circumstances.

The passenger himself was detained by Irish police for several hours before being let go without charge Tuesday.

The Irish were also angry that it took the Slovaks three days to tell them about the Saturday mistake and that the pilot of the airplane decided to fly to Dublin anyway even after being told that an explosive was in his aircraft’s checked luggage.

The attempt to remedy the situation was equally absurd:

Still, details emerging from the failed exercise heightened concerns that basic precautions were not taken, with the ministry saying that when Slovak authorities realized their error and told the pilot of the Danube Wings flight, he still decided to take off with the explosives on board.

The Slovaks say authorities at Poprad-Tatry Airport informed their Dublin airport counterparts during the flight that the explosive was onboard. The Dublin Airport Authority and airport police, however, said the information was sent to a private baggage company, not to them.


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