Anti-terrorism: Vanishing laptop man raises fears

22 January 2010
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1 January 1970

Further controversy on the issue of airport security was sparked by an incident in Munich on 20 January, when a portable computer set off an explosives detector. The owner of the computer was able to take back his machine and make good his escape. The police, who were not notified until ten minutes later, sealed off the terminal building and evacuated most of the passengers, but the man could not be found. "Where is laptop man?" demands the mocking headline in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The daily remarks that at the meeting of Europe's interior and Justice ministers in Toledo on 21 January, "the German ministers probably had to deal with sarcastic comments and even some worried questions about "the specifics of German proceedures."

At the meeting, which was attended by the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, the Europeans decided to reinforce checks in airports. But, as El Periódico notes, the resolution adopted was a compromise, "allowing Europe to postpone discussion on the installation of body scanners," and at the same time including a commitment to make use of high technology in line with the strategy adopted by the US.