Duty-free shops highlighted in Germany as security risk

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The Independent Travel

Duty-free shops in airports pose a security risk as they sell potentially dangerous items like razors, cigarette lighters and flammable alcohol and perfume, experts in Germany said on Thursday.

"Having passed through security checks, potential attackers can get everything they need to make a bomb in duty-free shops and restaurants," Rainer Wendt, German police union chief, told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung daily.

He said the European Union should "introduce as quickly as possible an EU-wide ban on selling potentially dangerous items like alcohol, perfume and similar things."

Wendt also said it was absurd that metal cutlery was available in airside restaurants and that in some cases cleaning chemicals were lying around "that a resourceful person could make a bomb with."

He told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that security lapses at European airports were "so bad I don't know where to start."

The Tagesspiegel daily cited a spokesman for the German pilot's union Vereinigung Cockpit and a security expert from Cottbus University, Wolfgang Spyra, as agreeing that some of the items on sale in duty free posed a potential risk.

The comments came amid calls around the world to tighten security after Nigerian man with suspected links to Al-Qaeda allegedly came close to blowing up a US airliner on December 25 with explosive chemicals on his person.

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