By Wil Longbottom
Slovakian passenger has explosives planted in his luggage and manages to fly to Dublin in bungled security test
A Slovakian man unwittingly carried hidden explosives on board a flight to Dublin after a botched security exercise, Irish officials revealed.
A furious Irish Government demanded that Slovakia explain its actions after the unsuspecting electrician was allowed to carry the explosives on the flight at Poprad-Tatry Airport on Saturday.
The diplomatic row erupted after Slovak airport police randomly planted powerful RDX in the 49-year-old’s bag, but took three days to warn authorities he had unwittingly evaded scanning machines.
Real bomb components were hidden in the luggage of nine unwitting passengers. Eight were detected, but one bag containing around three ounces of RDX plastic explosive traveled undetected through security on to a Danube Wings aircraft.
The bewildered passenger did not find out about the explosives cache until Irish police, acting on a Slovak tip-off, raided his apartment yesterday morning.
A major Dublin crossroads was shut down and neighbouring buildings were evacuated as a precaution while Irish Army experts inspected the explosive.
The man was later released without charge after three hours’ detention.
A Garda source said: ‘It seems his bag was picked randomly – he is not in any trouble with us.
‘We have verified the whole thing through proper police channels and security chiefs in the Slovak authorities.’
One security source said: ‘If that much explosive was detonated, it would cause serious damage, it would kill if it went off in a plane – it’s an unbelievable mistake.’
‘It doesn’t bear thinking about to put that kind of explosive on a plane, unaccounted for.’
The passenger, who it is understood has been living in Ireland for a number of years, knew nothing about it.
Roads around the Dorset Street apartment complex, close to Dublin’s main thoroughfare O’Connell Street, were sealed off for about an hour and a half, with five buildings evacuated as a security cordon was maintained.
Irish security personnel also carry out airport tests, but use security personnel, not unwitting travellers.
An Irish Government spokesman said: ‘The Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, has ordered a full report into what has transpired.’
The Slovakian Embassy in Dublin declined to comment but Slovakian deputy prime minister Robert Kallinak has conveyed his profound regret to Mr Ahern.
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