On Saturday, January 2, the Slovak police had a training exercise in which they put explosives into the luggage of several passengers at Poprad airport without informing them. Policemen with a bomb-sniffing dogs searched for the explosives, but one explosive was not found and the police failed to remove it from the luggage. It accidentally entered the plane and traveled to Dublin, Ireland.
A few minutes after the plane's departure, the pilot and the Irish airport luggage service were informed about the explosive. The next mistake was that the police superiors were only informed about the missing explosive on Monday.
The Slovak police used the airport's camera surveillance system to identify the man who owned the luggage. They contacted him in Ireland with a message saying he had to wait for the Irish police to collect the material. On Tuesday morning, the Irish police was informed. Who knows how, because instead of just getting the explosives, they enclosed the area near the passenger's flat and detained him for a few hours.
Complications continued when the information spread to the media. CNN initially spoke about the incident from Bratislava airport (a different airport, which also had a similar training going on at the time). Slovak TA3 at first reported that the traveler carried as much as 90 kilograms of explosives without knowing it. This, combined with the initial lack of information and varying versions, initialized thousands of netizens’ comments.
Here is a selection of some comments that I had the patience to read through:
They will punish the dog that did not find the explosive by lowering food portion to one half and in the evening they will forgive him half of punishment because of good manners.
A head will fall – of that journalist hyena who published it
Did someone at least apologize to that poor person?
Of course – the Irish police
radsej som zdrhol:
… and i must admit that our [policemen] still have to learn from the French ones because the Frenchies during similar training in December 2004 even did not know where and by what plane their lost sample had flown away. [here's a BBC report on the 2004 incident]
Here are some more reactions, from another source:
Just now i heard the foreign minister say on TV that we will send more humanitarian aid abroad
What if it was the other way around and the police just covered for a real terrorist? I mean what if he really wanted to destroy that plane and just forgot the detonator, and the police took it upon themselves to be not able to say that Slovakia had incapable terrorists! they are saving the good name of Slovakia and do not care at all that they get draggled all over newspapers
… and next, I completely, really completely, do not understand why Mr. “Steve” did not unpack for two days, or he thought it was a randomly packed cell phone?
Let's be glad that … the plane flew to Dublin and not to Beijing because a 49-year-old Slovak electrician could be also executed.
A discussion at SME.sk forum:
Let's be glad that … plane did not fly to the USA … if it had been the USA, that person would have been denied entry to the country.
… or the mentioned person after short time will from his heart admit that he wanted to assassinate and explode the plane
… finally Slovakia should have representation at Guantanamo, too.
… when I imagine that I'm traveling with my baby and somewhere they arrest me because our officers put something into my luggage during an enhanced anti-terrorist protection … according to TA3, they spent three hours questioning that man.
… from what I know about the Irish people, two and a half hours he was waiting until a vacant room was found
… and maybe finally foreign tourists will get interested in our Gotham – where else would they pack you a free bomb into your luggage?
Reactions from another forum:
Frankie I have 3 bombs, you 4, it's together 8
So let's go to drink a beer…
After arrival – What do you have in that suit case? How can I know it…. Oh, mister is from Slovakia
We're asking passengers … to switch off mobile phones and other electronics equipment. Passengers from Slovakia also make sure that today they haven't packed detonators in your luggage. Have a nice flight.
The probability that the plane you're traveling on has one more bomb in addition to the official police bomb is quite high. A solution: Take your own bomb. The probability that there are three bombs is much lower.
How many Slovak policemen are necessary for a terrorist attack?
Two – one will hide the bomb and the second will not find it.
I wish to express profound regret on the part of the US for failing to categorize and properly label DVDs obviously sold to your country. Odd as it may seem, the “Police Academy” video series was never intended as instructional.