[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.