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The Duty Free Bomb - Get Ingredients for Explosives After Security Checks

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  • Beowulf
    12/31/2009 01:09 PM The Duty Free Time Bomb Unions Want Controls On Airport Perfume And Alcohol Sales In the wake of the Christmas Day terror attempt on a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2010
      12/31/2009 01:09 PM

      The Duty Free Time Bomb

      Unions Want Controls On Airport Perfume And Alcohol Sales

      In the wake of the Christmas Day terror attempt on a Northwest Airlines
      flight, two major German employee unions are calling for closer scrutiny of
      products sold in airport duty free shops. Highly flammable perfumes and
      high-percentage spirits could be used to make explosive devices, they argue.

      In the aftermath of the foiled terrorist bomb plot on Northwest Flight 253
      to Detroit on Christmas day, the discussion
      <http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,669244,00.html> about
      aviation security in Europe continues to simmer. On Thursday, the heads of
      one of Germany's biggest police unions and a major pilot's association have
      come up with several suggestions for improved safety checks at European
      airports. Should they be taken seriously, some of them are bound to be

      The most contentious measure that Rainer Wendt -- head of the German Police
      Union (DPolG), which represents around 80,000 workers -- has suggested is a
      ban on the sale of what he describes as "potentially dangerous" goods like
      perfume and alcohol in duty free shops at European airports.

      In an interview with the regional daily Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung published
      on Thursday, Wendt said: "Once the potential perpetrators have gone past the
      security checks they can get everything they need to build a bomb in duty
      free shops and restaurants." For this reason, Wendt added that, "as quickly
      as possible, there should be an EU wide sales ban on potentially dangerous

      "The security of citizens must come before business interests," Wendt

      'The Bomb from Duty Free'

      In November 2006, German public broadcaster ZDF's "Frontal 21" investigative
      news program caused a scandal when one of the station's reporters managed to
      smuggle dry chemical substances through Frankfurt airport security checks
      and purchase additional substances at duty free shops that, when combined,
      created a functioning bomb. During the segment, called "The Bomb from Duty
      Free" the reporter later detonated the explosive device in a controlled area
      away from the airport, causing serious damage to a medium-sized autombile.

      The head of Cockpit, a German pilots' association, also drew attention to
      duty free dangers on Thursday. In an interview with the daily Tagesspiegel,
      Cockpit spokesman Jörg Handwerg said some of the items available for sale in
      duty free shops should be reviewed. "The passengers have a lot of harmless
      things confiscated from them during security checks," Handwerg said. "But
      then right afterwards they can acquire a variety of potentially dangerous
      items." Handwerg told the newspaper that he himself had had a water bottle
      confiscated at a London airport but was able to buy razor blades in the duty
      free area immediately afterwards. "You couldn't blow up a plane with that,"
      Handwerg said, "but you could certainly threaten the plane's crew."

      Meanwhile, Wolfgang Spyra, a security expert at the Brandenburg University
      of Technology, told the Berlin daily that hair sprays, perfumes and spirits
      with a highly flammable alcohol content could aid in setting a fire on board
      a plane, or could be mixed to create a potentially explosive mixture. Rather
      than banning the sale of such goods altogether, however, Spyra suggested
      duty free items could be ordered before the flight or on board the plane and
      then delivered to passengers as they disembarked the aircraft at their

      cis -- with wires


      * http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,669674,00.html

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