A suspect airline bag found in Namibia and destined for Germany has been called a false alarm, an American-inspired test of airport safety.
The discovery comes amid unprecedented security on German streets; claims that it was a routine check have done little to ease feelings of siege, amid fears of a major terrorist attack in the run-up to Christmas. Muddying the waters further, Namibian police now deny any American, German or local involvement in the suspect bag.
Thomas de Maiziere, the German Interior Minister, said:
“This bag has been described as ‘real-test’ luggage, a case produced in America to test security measures. We’re now checking who bought this luggage and when, and we’ll know more later.”
Many Europeans are used to seeing heavily-armed police, but to Germans it is a shocking sight. The head of the police union has said the country is facing its biggest-ever security challenge, and promised a highly-visible police presence in the run-up to Christmas. Intelligence sources say four suspected Islamic militants are thought to be in Germany, but their identities aren’t known.