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Explosives lost in airport gaffe
BBC News ^ | 5 December, 2004, | Allan Little

Posted on 12/05/2004 5:08:22 AM PST by ijcr

Plastic explosives were mistakenly loaded onto a plane at a Paris airport after security officials lost track of it during an exercise, police say.

Around 150 grams (about five ounces) of explosive were slipped into the bag of a passenger during sniffer dog training at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

The bag ended up on one of 90 flights leaving at the time, and police are now trying to track it down.

They stress the explosive is "no more dangerous than a bar of chocolate".

But airlines, airports and police forces around the world have been alerted.

It was a routine exercise that went wrong. An embarrassment but not, French police insist, dangerous.

The package of explosive was put in a bag at the airport on Friday to see if police dogs could detect it.

Nasty surprise

Someone though took their eye off the ball and the baggage handler unwittingly put the bag on a plane.

Police say they do not know which plane the bag ended up on; about 90 flights were leaving the airport at the time.

PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES

Resembles putty and can be moulded by hand Best known is Semtex, designed in Czechoslovakia Made for landmine clearance and industrial work Was undetectable by dogs and airport security devices Became popular with international terrorists It could be on an internal flight in France, or be travelling as far away as the US, Japan and Brazil.

Police insist the package of explosives is no more harmful than a chocolate bar - it has no detonator and does not react to movement, shock or even fire.

But they do concede that somewhere in the world, one of the thousands of passengers who passed through the airport will get a nasty surprise when they open their luggage.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; baggage; cdg; explosives; france; semtex
Have no fear, Inspector Clouseau is now on the case.
1 posted on 12/05/2004 5:08:22 AM PST by ijcr
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To: ijcr

Really stupid question...

I give them authorization to inspect my luggage...ok they open it, look in it, check the contents....etc.

I DON'T EVER REMEMBER GIVING THEM AUTHORIZATION TO USE MY LUGGAGE FOR A TRAINING EXERCISE! TELL THEM TO USE THEIR OWN LUGGAGE!

I think a lawsuit might be a good course of action for tampering with my luggage.


2 posted on 12/05/2004 5:17:27 AM PST by EBH (A very proud Aunt of a US Marine in Fallujah)
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To: ijcr

Wasn't France also the place that found a bottle containing traces sarin? Then claimed it was okay because the bottle was empty and only had traces of the deadly poison. I feel better now they are trying to find it.

BTW they lost 5oz of explosives. How much did the shoe bomber have in his shoes?


3 posted on 12/05/2004 5:18:00 AM PST by Dutch Boy
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To: ijcr

Some french officer is going to get fried over this.


4 posted on 12/05/2004 5:24:19 AM PST by mtbopfuyn
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To: Dutch Boy

What's really making me wonder is why they can't find it. This goes to show just how bad security is. I can see the French being bungling idiots, but security at other airports should have found it quickly.


5 posted on 12/05/2004 5:25:35 AM PST by Nathan Zachary
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To: ijcr
... Was undetectable by dogs and airport security devices

Yeah, so let's use it as a training exercise, since we know it is undetectable by dogs & airport security devices. I assume then, that standard operating procedure is to investigate, by hand, every item in a piece of luggage so that something like a 5 oz chocolate bar can't be permitted to pass. Sure, that's the ticket.

6 posted on 12/05/2004 5:28:14 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Nathan Zachary
What's really making me wonder is why they can't find it.

The article says the material is undetectable by dogs and serurity devices, can be made to resemble a chocholate bar or molded into any other shape. Maybe it looks like a block of cream-colored clay, something a kid would model with, and packed in a retail package.

If it's so tough to detect, makes me wonder why they used the real thing instead of an inert substance that has similar appearance and other physical properties.

7 posted on 12/05/2004 5:31:47 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: ijcr

"..."no more dangerous than a bar of chocolate"."

Heh. That's comforting, isn't it. I have a feeling this is more widespread than just one incident.


8 posted on 12/05/2004 5:32:48 AM PST by 7.62 x 51mm ( veni vidi vino visa "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: Cboldt

What would put the icing on the cake for this story would be if the passengers luggage they slipped it into was an actual suspected terrorist they are monitoring.
"It's a set up" cries the shackled terrorist
"sure" says the judge. "50 years"


9 posted on 12/05/2004 5:33:02 AM PST by Nathan Zachary
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To: Cboldt

Silly Putty comes to mind...


10 posted on 12/05/2004 5:33:49 AM PST by 7.62 x 51mm ( veni vidi vino visa "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: ijcr

It wasn't lost. It was surrendered.


11 posted on 12/05/2004 5:37:36 AM PST by aomagrat (Where weapons are not allowed, it is best to carry weapons.)
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To: ijcr
Sock Ray Blue


12 posted on 12/05/2004 5:43:06 AM PST by ThreePuttinDude (Plumbers for Bush....We flushed the Johns)
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To: ijcr
Sock Ray Blue


13 posted on 12/05/2004 5:43:40 AM PST by ThreePuttinDude (Plumbers for Bush....We flushed the Johns)
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To: ThreePuttinDude

Trigger finger had a twitch......sorry


14 posted on 12/05/2004 5:44:41 AM PST by ThreePuttinDude (Plumbers for Bush....We flushed the Johns)
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To: ijcr

The Frogs could screw up a two car funeral.


15 posted on 12/05/2004 6:10:58 AM PST by sgtbono2002 (If God doesnt destroy Hollywood he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.)
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To: mtbopfuyn
"Some french officer is going to get fried over this."

More likely he'll be promoted to policing the ethics of their participation in the next UN Oil for Food program.

16 posted on 12/05/2004 6:14:37 AM PST by Reo
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To: ijcr
Oho! This story suddenly makes another FR thread from a couple of days ago a little clearer.
17 posted on 12/05/2004 6:29:32 AM PST by IonImplantGuru (PhD, School of Hard Knocks)
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To: ijcr

Only the French could ever pull off such an exquisite CharlieFoxtrot.......


18 posted on 12/05/2004 6:38:04 AM PST by tracer (Forrest)
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To: ijcr
"Police insist the package of explosives is no more harmful than a chocolate bar - it has no detonator and does not react to movement, shock or even fire."

But, unlike the aforementioned chocolate bar, the package could be deadly when activated by the aforementioned detonator.

As Inspector Clouseau once said, "Swine detonator!!"

19 posted on 12/05/2004 6:41:40 AM PST by tracer (Forrest)
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To: EBH

That's, of course, assuming that you can court to hear your suit in, after being busted for felony possession of explosives, felony carrying explosives on an airplane, felony terroristic actions, and so forth that would add up to life in jail - for a bar-of-chocolate-sized thing someone else put in your luggage.

LOL! I just realized that one of the questions they ask you at airports, "have your suitcases been under your complete control since you packed them" can no longer be answered affirmatively. "Why, no they haven't. They were searched by airport security at my last connection, and for all I know there's now a stick of plastic explosives and a loaded gun in them. Maybe some dope to, I know you guys like to do that, too."


20 posted on 12/05/2004 8:38:39 AM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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