Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Adventures in Airline Security.

In case you missed it, Slovak Authorities thought it would be a good idea to test their bomb-sniffing dogs by planting explosives (RDX) on unwitting passengers to see if the dogs caught it.  In one case, a Slovak citizen was returning to Dublin (where he's been living for three years), and the dog seems to have located the explosives, but then his handler got busy with something else and forgot to remove one of the packets.

The stories have contradictory information about whether or not there were multiple packages on multiple passengers or if just this one guy was used as a guinea pig, but either way, the guy ended up traveling to Ireland...explosives and all.  The stories are also confused as to who (and when) was notified on the Irish side of things once they realized the package was still in the passenger's baggage.  According to one of the stories, the pilot was informed before the flight left the ground (including the information that there were no other components that would make the RDX explode) and the pilot decided to go ahead and make the flight anyway. (There's a note on one Wikipedia page stating that RDX becomes unstable at 4º below zero, but I'm not sure about that one.)

Anyway, three days later, when the Slovaks start to be curious about why the Irish Authorities haven't talked to them about the explosives, they make a phone call.  Irish Authorities say, "we never got your Telex".  Then they rush out and shut the original passenger's neighborhood down to retrieve the explosives and they arrest the guy for a few hours before letting him go. (A reminder: Sending a text message does not mean your message was received.  If you're texting about something important -- say, a bomb? -- you might want to consider getting a confirmation.)

Anyway,  I feel much safer knowing that the authorities are handing out bomb-making materials to those of us without the connections to get them ourselves.  Damn considerate of them, don't you think?

1 comment:

Steve Buchheit said...

Yeah, you can make a good deal of cash that way. There's people who want that sort of stuff.