Attempted terror attack on Air Berlin


A suspect package containing a detonator, batteries and a ticking clock was found on a suitcase checked onto a Munich-bound plane, German police have said.

The BKA (German Federal Police) said the suspicious baggage had been seized on Wednesday at the international airport in Windhoek before it was due to be loaded on to an LTU/Air Berlin flight to Munich.

“A subsequent X-ray (of the luggage) revealed batteries that were attached with wires to a detonator and a ticking clock,” it said in a statement.

“Only the ongoing forensic investigation will show whether this was a live explosive.”

Passengers on the flight as well as all luggage in the hold and the aircraft itself underwent subsequent checks before the plane was given clearance to take off.

The flight from Windhoek to Munich landed safely after a delay of several hours
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The bag was detected before it could be loaded on the flight from Namibia.

The flight was delayed for several hours but landed safely at Munich on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, Germany increased security amid intelligence pointing to a planned terror attack in the country.

It is not known if the latest discovery was part of this attack, says the BBC’s Stephen Evans in Berlin.

Security increase
The German Federal Crime Office (BKA) is sending experts to the Namibian capital, Windhoek, to examine the package.

It was detected at the luggage screening point prior to loading, said the Namibia Airports Company (NAC).

“We are still investigating the suspicious object,” a Namibian police spokesman told the BBC. “It’s too early to say if it’s terrorist-related. We will only pronounce when the investigation is completed.”

Further security checks were carried out on passengers, luggage and the plane itself before the LTU/Air Berlin flight was allowed to depart.

No explosives were found in the bag, Air Berlin said.

All passengers had to identify their own bags before they were reloaded.

However, cargo due to be loaded on the flight was kept back for further investigation, said a statement from NAC.

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Germany would be stepping up security at airports and railway stations in light of “concrete indications” of terrorist attacks being planned for the end of November.

Mr de Maiziere said Germany had received a tip-off after two parcel bombs were intercepted en route from Yemen to the United States last month.

One of the parcel bombs went through the German city of Cologne before it was detected in the UK.

German interior ministers from federal and state governments were meeting on Thursday morning in Hamburg to discuss the elevated threat.

There were “concrete indications” that Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and the Ruhr Valley were the likely targets of terrorist attacks, said the interior minister of Rheinland-Pfalz, Karl Peter Bruch.

“We are forearmed,” he said, speaking on SWR radio.