Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Ahern fury at airline explosives gaffe

The bizarre incident in which a passenger on a Slovakian flight to Dublin carried deadly explosives on board without being detected should be treated as a “wake-up call”, a European security summit heard yesterday.

The explosives were planted by Slovak border police in the luggage of innocent passenger Stevan Gonda, without his knowledge, as part of a training exercise.

But they were not spotted and he was then allowed to bring the material into Ireland.

The security gaffe was raised by Justice Minister Dermot Ahern yesterday at a bilateral meeting on the margins of the security summit in Toledo in Spain.

The head of the Slovak delegation, Ambassador Jan Skoda, publicly apologised to Ireland at the Council of Justice and Home Affairs meeting.

Mr Ahern told him he understood the communications difficulties surrounding the incident in Slovakia.

But he believed the fact that someone could board a plane with explosive material was a “wake-up call” for the EU.

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