Undervover tests reveal major flawsin French airport security

15th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 14 (AFP) - A confidential test carried out at French airports last year revealed dramatic security loopholes, after a passenger carrying fake explosives and weapons managed to board a dozen separate flights, a French news magazine reported on Monday.

PARIS, June 14 (AFP) - A confidential test carried out at French airports last year revealed dramatic security loopholes, after a passenger carrying fake explosives and weapons managed to board a dozen separate flights, a French news magazine reported on Monday.

As part of a test commissioned by the centre-right government and carried out between June and September 2003, the armed man boarded 10 domestic services and two international flights without once being stopped by security forces.

Both his check-in and hand luggage contained fake explosives, knives and unloaded guns, according to news weekly Marianne.

He was stopped only once, for carrying a pair of scissors.

The test was carried out by the French civil aviation authorities as part of a general audit of airport security, following a request from a deputy charged with preparing the 2004 transport budget.

Charles de Courson, a deputy from the Union for French Democracy (UDF), the junior partner in government, submitted his confidential findings to the interior ministry in in October 2003, the newspaper reported.

The ministry has declined to comment on the matter, according to the paper.

However sources close to de Courson said that his final report on the 2004 budget, which was highly critical of current French security measures, had referred obliquely to the confidential findings.

In that report, de Courson wrote: "The proof has been provided - all too often - that it is possible to get around the airport security system."

The report listed an accumulation of errors and shortfalls, including a lack of political understanding of terrorist threats, incompetence among security staff due to poor training and hasty, incoherent security planning.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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