November 19th, 2010
08:44 AM ET

German minister: Suspicious bag was 'test device'

[Updated at 1:02 p.m.] A suspicious piece of luggage that was about to be loaded onto a flight in Namibia was a "test device" from a U.S. company that sells products designed to test security, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a news conference Friday in Hamburg, Germany.

Namibian Police on Friday warned that whoever is responsible for planting the device among the luggage of an Air Berlin flight Wednesday would be severely dealt with, warning that Namibia was not to be used as an unauthorized testing ground for aviation security.

"The preliminary investigations have revealed that the suspicious parcel does not contain any explosive substances; however, it is an explosive simulation training device, manufactured by an American-based company, 'Larry Copello Incorporated,' " Lt. Gen. Sebastian Ndeitunga, Namibia's top policeman, told reporters Friday at a news conference in Windhoek, the capital.

The device is a training aid to help screeners identify explosive devices, Larry Copello, founder and CEO of Larry Copello, Inc., told CNN Friday. Copello described the device as "non-hazardous ...not a threat to anyone."

Copello said his company sells such devices to law enforcement agencies, governments and corporate clients, but did not know to whom this particular device was sold. He learned of the Namibia incident on Thursday when the FBI called him. He said he is cooperating with the investigation.

An official with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration said Friday that they are working with German and Namibian authorities to determine the origin of the device and the reason it was to be transported on the plane.


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  1. Skeiron

    According to German news agencies the German experts of the BKA (the German equivalent of the FBI), who were sent to Namibia to investigate in this case, identified the luggage as a test device produced by a U.S. company, but so far no one knows who brought it to the airport.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Brieske

    Greg. You need to see a shrink. Our government did not carry out the 9/11 attacks. Better yet, can we meet someplace so I can beat the fuk out of you? Knock some common sense into you.
    Concerning the fake explosive device found in luggage. What we are seeing is a distraction technique. I expect horrific terrorist attacks here in the United States. Ones that have absolutely nothing to do with air travel.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      I wanna hit him too!!! Can I help, can I can I can I?????

      November 19, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Uncle Nando

    Clearly the panic of terrorism has brought upon us a sense of fear to all walks of life. Having a misleading report of a test by the US is truly not worthy of being read. Where in this report does it actually prove that the United States were invoolved? All it says was that no one claimed the bag. How does that prove that the Americans was testing the airport? Think before you make such acuzations about an organization as big as the United States of America.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fred

    "De Maizere said authorities are investigating the bag's origin and it's intended destination."

    Learn to spell "its." You are supposed to be professional journalists.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. phil

    You can't prove governments don't stage attacks. On the other hand, government staged attacks on their own citizenry...history is littered with examples.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rick

    A lot of speculation is going on here. Especially by the German Minister. He said they think its from a "US Company" as a "Test device" but "It had no luggage label so it was impossible to know where it was going, which company it was supposed to fly with or who it belonged to,"

    I think the should investigate deeper and have facts before they put out a "Test press release"

    November 19, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bridget

    It's my impression that CNN's 'This Just In' section provides only snippets of the most current events. Enough info has been verified that they can report it but they're still confirming the details. I'm sure a more in-depth article will be reported in the near future. Simply stating that it was a "U.S. test device" does not give the reader much to go on, so take all the speculation with a grain of salt, including mine.

    I am curious to learn the hows, whys and who is responsible for this. I think the US govt (or any govt, for that matter) testing other airports, esp without their govt's knowledge, is the least likely scenario.

    I'm thinking rogues got their hands on US military equipment and planted it. The airport in Nambia probably did not make the top 100 list of most secure facilities. Perhaps it is a US govt sponsored test albeit with the knowledge of the top level security of the countries involved. However, it doesn't make sense that its origin wasn't revealed before it hit the news with lots of unanswered questions attached.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. David M

    This is such a non-story. It's all based on suppostions and not any real facts. Maybe CNN should try a little investigative reporting and see what they come up with. Otherwise, what we have here is journalism at its worst. Poorly reported and poorly written.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    Yes and in Germany people are freaking out. Stop the nonsense attacking other countries, take care of your citizens healthcare and a good paid job. The terrorist have been created by the CIA, the biggest drug dealer is the CIA and who knows what other criminal stuff they have done globally and nationally.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    Wake me up when "the terrorists" poison our still unnguarded domestic water supplies. I mean how hard could it be for several thousand "terrorists" to sneak accross our southern border?

    November 19, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. MickeyMudTurtle

    "it's intended destination" ??? Uh — how about "its intended destination" ??? Hey, CNN, did your story writers ever take any English classes??? (jw!)

    November 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. phil

    @Turtle...the avg. American reads and understands at the 8th grade level. Years ago baby car-seat manufacturers were forced to recall not the seats, but the instructions. They had to be published in a way that an 8th grader could understand. (previously they were written at the 10th grade level) It's called the dumbing down of America.

    November 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lloyd Madoff

    If there is a sinister plan by the international corporations and globalists to take over a country and subjugate its people, what better way than to claim it's for the safety of the people?

    November 20, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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