x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Suspect bag delays Air Berlin flight from Namibia

Scan of suitcase found in luggage hall showed batteries attached by wires to a fuse and a clock, day after Germany increases anti-terror security.

BERLIN // German authorities say an Air Berlin flight from Namibia was delayed after police found a suitcase with a fuse in the luggage hall of the airport in the country's capital.

Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office said today that a scan showed batteries attached by wires to a fuse and a clock. They say authorities in Windhoek, Namibia, were investigating whether the device found Wednesday could have exploded.

But Air Berlin spokeswoman Sabine Teller says no explosives were found in the bag. She says it is unclear what plane the suitcase was intended for, but all the Air Berlin luggage was rechecked and passengers identified their bags.

After a lengthy delay the plane was able to leave and arrived with all passengers in Munich this morning.

Yesterday Germany's interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere,announcing increased security around the country, said: "According to information from a foreign partner which came to us after the Yemen incident, we suspect a planned attack is due to be put into action at the end of November." 

Last month authorities discovered two US-bound parcel bombs originating from Yemen, one of which went through Cologne airport in  Germany.

Yesterday the Tagesspiegel newspaper said the United States had told Berlin that between two and four al Qa'eda operatives were on their way to Germany and Britain to attempt attacks.