MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

German Airport Security Mistook Vibrator for Hand Grenade

Apparently, German airports aren't much better than American ones when it comes to identifying risks.

Mohamed Ahmed Soliman/Dreamstime.com Chernetskaya/Dreamstime.comMohamed Ahmed Soliman/Dreamstime.com Chernetskaya/Dreamstime.comVibrator or hand grenade? Security personnel at a Berlin airport apparently couldn't tell the difference yesterday, leading to an hour-long terminal closure.

German federal police say Schönefeld Airport employees found "suspicious content in a luggage piece" while X-raying bags, according to CNN. As a result, Terminal D was closed while authorities investigated.

Airport officials used the public address system to find the bag's owner, though a police spokesperson told CNN the passenger was hesitant to reveal what was in the bag.

Later, the passenger detailed his experience on social media. "When I arrived, the terminal was being evacuated. I approached a police officer and told him that I needed to check my bag with the baggage handlers. He asked my name and for my passport," he wrote, according to The New Zealand Herald. "He then spoke into his radio and several armed police swarmed me with automatic weapons."

But the "suspicious content" turned out to be nothing more than a sex toy. "After 60 tense minutes, [the member of the bomb squad] returned laughing," the passenger tells RT, a Russian state-sponsored media outlet. "The hand grenade was in fact a vibrator from Ann Summers that my girlfriend and I had purchased two weeks previous."

German airports might need to get better at identifying and dealing with explosives. Officials evacuated parts of Frankfurt Airport yesterday after an entire family was allowed to clear security even though they tested positive for explosives, Reuters reports.

Things aren't too much better in the U.S., where the Transportation Security Administration does a terrible job of assessing risk and properly allocating resources, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in December. "According to the GAO, the agency has not updated its comprehensive risk assessment since 2009," Reason's Eric Boehm noted at the time.

"Given that TSA spends only about 3 percent of its budget on surface activities," GAO auditors wrote in their report, "it is crucial that the agency have complete information on how resources are being used in order to best allocate these limited federal surface transportation security resources."

Photo Credit: Mohamed Ahmed Soliman/Dreamstime.com Chernetskaya/Dreamstime.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Jerryskids||

    Germany. German hand grenades, the old "potato masher" variety at any rate, look more like a sex toy than that picture indicates.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That looks like a Russian F1 hand grenade.

  • flatdarkmars||

    "Nine time out of ten, it's an electric razor. But, every once in a while ... (whispers) ...it's a dildo. It's airline policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article: 'A dildo.' Never 'Your dildo.'"

  • Brandybuck||

    So the German Stasi are closing down airports over electric razors as well. Good to know.

  • ||

    So the German Stasi are closing down airports over electric razors as well. Good to know.

    The first rule of the Stasi is: you do not talk about the Stasi.
    The second rule of the Stasi is... you do. not. talk about the Stasi.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    TAOS, N.M. (AP) — The father of a missing Georgia boy was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents obtained Wednesday, as authorities waited to learn if human remains found at the site were those of the boy.

    The documents say Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound near the Colorado border where authorities say they found 11 hungry children living in filthy conditions in a raid Friday.
    Guy trains kids for school shootings

    Notice the media wont say if this guy was born in the USA or not. That usually means that he is one of those immigrants that we Americans must have here. Otherwise, the media would announce that its an American militia group.

    Anything but a Lefty trying to destroy America and our freedoms!

  • Brandybuck||

    From his name it's obvious he came from Mexico. Duh.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Mormons again.

  • jcw||

    You should write MSM and tell them exactly what you expect in all news articles in specific situations.

    Notice how they didn't list the man's age?!?!?!? Bet he was an old cranky bastard.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That explains a lot about why you post the things you post.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This is true, but had he been killed in a SWAT raid, we'd damn sure know the race of the officer that shot him if the officer was white.

  • Rich||

    Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam, also named Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the New York Post reported.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks Rich. I linked the story before some news outlets posted it.

  • Dan S.||

    a missing Georgia boy

    I had to get to the seventh paragraph of the linked story before I could be sure if the boy came from somewhere near Atlanta, or near Tbilisi.

  • Riesen||

    Terminal D...

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hillary's loss in election 2016 did tick her off.

  • silent v||

    Suddenly people are much more willing to throw themselves on a grenade.

  • Jerryskids||

    Only a man would think a sex toy should finish with a bang in 5 seconds.

  • maddarter||

    Not one Fight Club reference yet???

  • Shirley Knott||

    We follow the rules here.

  • maddarter||

    Narrator's bags have just been confiscated]
    Narrator: Was it ticking?
    Airport Security Officer: Actually, throwers don't worry about ticking 'cause modern bombs don't tick.
    Narrator: Sorry, throwers?
    Airport Security Officer: Baggage handlers. But when a suitcase vibrates, then the throwers gotta call the police.
    Narrator: My suitcase was vibrating?
    Airport Security Officer: Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor. But ... every once in a while [looks around, leans in conspiratorially] ... it's a dildo. [leans back] Of course, it's company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, "a dildo", never ... your dildo.
    Narrator: I don't own a dildo!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Apparently, tReason mistook a cucumber for a vibrator!

  • Agammamon||

    Re; alt text - that's not a vibrator either.

  • Aloysious||

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online