A new ‘chat down’ procedure which identifies terrorists by the way they respond to routine security questions almost had its first success today when a man was detained at Stansted Airport after giving answers about his baggage without looking suspicious.
The 22 year old caused concern among Ryanair check-in staff by looking them straight in the eye as he claimed to have packed his case himself, hadn’t let it out of his sight and wasn’t carrying anything for anyone else.
Safety Director Michael Horgan explained that after the airline installed sophisticated lie detectors provided by MI6 for testing, they discovered that normal passengers never give honest answers to these questions. "Because of this, staff were put on high alert when the suspect didn't even cause the readouts to flicker. We knew we had a wrong 'un."
"Most men have nothing to do with packing," said supervisor Gail Sanders, "but it's always them doing the bag drops so they just lie about it. Even when they travel alone, their mum or wife packs for them. Only terrorists and weirdos pack their own case and keep it with them all the time."
Suspicions that the man could be a suicide bomber grew when his case was found to contain 72 pairs of clean underpants and 72 condoms, all potentially useful when first getting to know his promised companions in the afterlife. But police say no explosives were found and they have confirmed his story that he was heading for a wild fortnight in Ibiza in an attempt to break free from his obsessive compulsive disorder, and had taken five of each per day plus two spare, just in case.
The arrested man, believed to be a trainee VAT inspector, was released later without charge and allowed to continue his journey following payment of a 200 percent rebooking fee.