back to article Airport plods seize man with electric vibro-pleasure shoes

Bumbling Pakistani security operatives have detained a man at Karachi airport for attempting to board a plane with a pair of electrical vibro-massage shoes. Multiple reports indicate that the passenger, Faiz Mohammad, 30, was about to board a Thai Airways flight to Oman when he was seized following a check of his effects. X- …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Sounds reasonable to me

    What did the pervert expect? It was an airport - in that part of the world - in 2010.

  2. Ian Ferguson
    Paris Hilton


    Their concern seems fair enough to me, especially after the whole shoe-bomber fiasco.

  3. Winston Smith


    ... does not enter into it, where airports are involved.

  4. LuMan

    Two things..

    Firstly, considering the amount of hysteria and paranoia surrounding terrorist attacks involving airports (or, more notably, the aircraft themselves), it serves us all well to not do anything that may draw attention to ourselves; saying the 'B' word, carrying odd-coloured liquids, T-shirts with guns on them or even electronics hidden in our shoes.

    Secondly, having said the above, I find the comment "We have not released him yet but if he is found innocent, we will let him go for sure," somewhat bemusing. Why would they NOT let him go free?? It's a ridiculous statement. Is he not innocent unless proven guilty??

    Grenade - just for the fun of it!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      He's not innocent until he's confessed to being innocent

      and he might not do that until he's been properly questioned. Given his tastes, bastinado is probably appropriate.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fair Play

    I've never heard of electro massage shoes.

    Perhaps the real story is that, now this has been widely reported, some potential shoe bomber is going to buy a pair and convert them into bombs.

    1. Ivan Headache

      But what about

      all those kiddie sneakers that flash morsecode as they walk?

    2. BIll Jones

      The story here is really where is the Register Review of this gadget shoes

      I for one feel let down by the Register, this is the sort of IT Hardware that we need to know about. Is the Register getting bogged down with too many reviews of thing like computers when this obvious must have bit of kit is out there? Come one Register sort it out.

  6. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    They're "therapeutic", you sickos.


    ... Didn't the wind-up radio guy (name will come back to me) experiment with shoes that use footfall energy to charge a phone battery?

    Or how about the child's shoes that just flash at every footfall - makes them slightly easier to see in the dark.

    If this is the nub of it, it's awfully bad luck. I hope the fellow gets his flight after all.

    But to save face, the things will probably be banned.

    (Admittedly, terrorist engineers are probably already studying how to make them explode. Or vibrate the plane to pieces...)

  7. Alastair McFarlane

    "...stop anyone carrying anything containing a battery."

    Of course, you wouldn't *expect* someone to have a battery in their shoes, now would you? Seems a reasonable thing to look closer into.

  8. Robin 1
    Thumb Up

    Best be careful...

    Once onboard, he could disassemble the circuitry in the shoes and attach them to the tub of "play doh" (read C4) that his child brought on board... Bad times for everyone.

    It's most likely best if from now on, all passengers board without clothes and carry on. Can't be too careful.

    1. frank ly
      Thumb Up

      Cattle Class

      "..all passengers board without clothes and carry on.."

      Great idea, no need for millimetric wave perv-scanners in that case. Just the occasional 'invasive' procedure.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Just the occasional 'invasive' procedure

        Isn't that called the Mile High club?

        Yup, the dirty Mac, thanks.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Times Square bomber my arse

    " Times Square car "bomber" Faisal Shahzad was acting at the behest of an organisation based in Pakistan "

    Ah yes, the Times Square bomber who was "trained and financed" by the mythical Al-qaeda......

    If all Al-qaeda can stretch to is a second hand car and a few propane cylinders, then maybe the septics (and Nu-Labia) should find more important things to worry about........ Or perhaps Al-qaeda are busy spending their donations on a new kidney machine for bin Laden ?

    However, here in the real world....

    A nutcase with a few fireworks and a crate of BBQ gas is now being used as an excuse give Pakistan grief .

    1. Steven Knox


      The argument is that Shahzad was trained and financed by a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, not Al-Qaeda. Not surprising since they first took credit for the failed attempt, and then denied any involvement.

  10. Steven Jones


    I'm not sure this warrants the term bumbling. I've never heard of electro-massage shoes, and given that there has been an attempted bombing using shoes it does, at least, warrant investigation. Of course it is the case that cameras, laptops and the like at all, in principle, convertible into bombs but as these are commonly used devices one would think that X-Ray operators are trained on what to look for.

    I rather suspect that if you take any novel electronic devices through security then it might similarly trigger an investigation. Now it might just be that the action in holding the guy is disproportionate, but remember this is Pakistan and they will be especially sensitive to concerns over security.

    No - I think this is better safe than sorry and I dould suggest that anybody taking anything unusual like this through an airport, especially one in a sensitive area, might expect they would trigger suspicion.

  11. pctechxp

    @AC re; fair play

    I have to agree with AC.

    I think it would have been better not to publish this story.

    With respect to your background Lewis it will be easy for you to differentiate such devices from an explosive but I doubt a lot of airport operatives are electronics experts so give them a break.

    Inconveneience versus potential mass murder had it been a bomb, oooh tough one.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    resonance frequency

    Perhaps his shoes had been tuned to vibrate at the resonance frequency of the aircraft, I think the security forces should beat him some more, just to be sure....

  13. Patrick R

    foot massage ?

    Dangerous weapons. Or could also be used on George Bush for head massage during press conference.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      George Bush head massage

      That sounds like a great idea. I'd love to give Gee Dubya a head massage with a pair of shoes. Will size 12 Doc Martens do?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now you mention it- I have had enormous trouble with fuckwit security at O'Hare, giving me tonnes of trouble for the sealed back of AA cell batteries that I'd just bought from an airport shop.

    They can and do give you grief for anything if they're in a mood.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    The eebil terrorists have truly won.

    People are falling over themselves to agree with random and pointless arrests and detentions, all because someone, somewhere did a bad thing.

    If anyone bothered to follow this logic to its inevitable conclusion you would never leave your house and quickly die of starvation and dehydration.

    Why do people seem to think that defending against the last terrorist attack, or some imaginary "holloywood movie plot scenario" (hat tip Bruce Schneier) is a good idea? Why are we happy to read about our fellow humans who endure indignity and inconvienience simply because we think someone somewhere might be a bad person? Do things like this make *anyone* any safer? No, not at all.

    Sadly, it seems too few people care anymore so lets lock up everyone.

    Fail. The entire human race.

    [Mondays have always depressed me]

    1. Lionel Baden

      starve !

      dont sainsburys deliver in your area ???

  16. Steve Evans

    Sounds fair enough to me...

    Having batteries in your shoes is a bit odd, and to be honest, asking for trouble. So well done to the x-ray man for actually doing his job and thinking they were worth further investigation.

    However, holding him beyond the point where the shoes were found to be innocent is a little heavy handed, but at least there is some logic to the behaviour of the security services this time. Unlike the time I was stopped with a sealed 125g jar of marmite in my hand luggage... Just for the record trying to explain the difference between a liquid volume measure of 100ml and a mass measurement of 125g to a security droid is pointless.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge

      You were asking for trouble;

      Having marmite in your luggage is more than a bit odd.

      Mine's the one with the brown stains and odd smell in the pockets - no, really!

      1. Spiker


        You owe me a keyboard!!

  17. Suburban Inmate

    Good grief I must be lucky

    ... judging by the comments here.

    I took a case with a load of odd electronic equipment in it, cables, few tools, 3 x 600w HPS lightbulbs (yes, the green-fingered sort), old skool steel cased KVM switch, god knows what else. They didn't even bother opening it. KVM switch could easily have contained a few shoes worth of play-dough. I was in a tatty hoodie and jeans. All the bloke whinged about was the weight. Didn't even look inside!

    On another occasion my hand luggage went through Porto security with 10 x Litre cartons of vino cheapo in it. WIN. Saved a fortune there. Another time I was made to put 2KG explosive-resembling-ish stuff into my coat pockets as my hold case was 2KG overweight.

    I did once have a pair of needle nose pliers (my GOOD pair!!) confiscated as a "tradesman's tool". They left the big pointy soldering iron though. Lets not even speak of the stuff I've carried that would have had me up before the beak with a very sore backside before you can say jobsworth.

    In all, a little common sense means you can carry on as normal. The one with 4 x 500g English mature cheddar....

  18. Dave 120

    Its a fair cop

    If I was an x-ray operator and I saw a pair of shoes go through with batteries and wires I'd think WTF too.

    If THAT isn't unusual enough to investigate I shudder to think what would be.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Vibrating shoes

    There's such things in the world? I can imagine a different use for it.

    Paris. I'm sure she wouldn't mind having one of these on her behind.

  20. Dances With Sheep
    Paris Hilton

    @Good grief I must be lucky

    A rucksack full of hard drives in anti-static bags looks remarkably like a rucksack full of 9-bars........

    Don't ask me how I know this, I just do OK.

    (Paris, 'cos like airport security, she's a fuckwit who needs to justify her existence as well.)

  21. MostlyHarmless

    Have a heart!

    Prepare to be arrested if you try to board an aircraft in Pakistan wearing a pacemaker....

  22. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Further news: he DID NOT KNOW?

    According to today's paper (Metro), the man claims he bought the shoes in a market, maybe second hand, and wasn't aware that they had batteries and stuff in. If so, he must be even more annoyed than I already supposed him to be.

  23. max allan

    Shimano SPDs = grenade

    Apparently Shimano SPDs (the old style anyway, not sure about newer ones) look very much like grenades to X-ray machines. I was told that and forgot all about it until one day taking a brand new pair in a box back home.

    I had a couple of extra blokes turned up and stood around the security desk in the airport as they politely asked me to open my luggage and as I extracted all the other random crap that could have been suspect, polite "no sir, nearer the bottom...". There was a definite feeling of "aaah" and lessening of tension when they saw that it was pedals.

  24. 100113.1537

    Airport Security....

    Speaking of fun in airport security...

    Returning from a trip last week, I was going through Dubai for the second time in a week and had to leave the "secure" area to to go to the transfer desk. On coming back though security again (about 10 minutes after going through the first time) my notebook security cable was confiscated as being not allowed on an aircraft!

    The sheer ridiculousness of the situation stunned me. I think I have taken - conservatively - 150 flights over the past 4-5 years with the cable in my carry-on (I forget it is there to be honest because it sits in a pocket on the front) and on this trip alone went through 5 security checks before it was confiscated - two of them in Dubai.

    As a fairly frequent flyer, I am quite happy with security procedures - sure they are a bit of a pain, but mostly because of the queuing first, but I havne't been hijacked or blown up yet so they must be working - right?. It would just be nice to have a bit of consistency to make me think they are actually doing some good...

    I have had a good time with Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings before now, but my all-time favourite was coming back from Kenya with a piece of lead-crystal glass as an anniversary present for my in-laws. The security person's double-take on seeing a big square lump of something X-ray opaque was priceless! In retrospect, I should be glad I didn't get hauled off, being merely asked to open the bag and show the nice piece of artwork, but it is one I will remember for a while.

  25. JC 2
    Thumb Up

    I do not make bombs...

    ... but I have enough experience in electrical/electronics to know that if I had a mind to, I could construct a bomb that looked EXTREMELY similar to a the circuit & hardware needed to produce vibrating shoes and I mean indistinguishable to an airport scanner if you didn't already have the genuine vibrating shoes to compare against side-by-side.

    Would it have enough explosives to do more than mangle the wearer's feet? I have no idea, but if we concede or at least tolerate these kinds of invasive search methods in airports, we have to also accept a margin of caution in detaining people with as-yet unidentified *gear* built into their belongings.

  26. Bob. Hitchen


    Obviously for use in the lotus position

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