LONDON -- A Briton whose daughter was killed when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Scotland said he breached security at London's Heathrow Airport and carried a dummy replica of the Pan Am bomb undetected on a flight to New York.
Jim Swire said Sunday he smuggled a radio cassette player filled with marzipan, an almond paste resembling the plastic explosive Semtex, on a London-to-New York flight three weeks ago to demonstrate security remains too lax to thwart terrorist acts. It was not disclosed when Swire's flight took place, or on which airline.
Swire's daughter, Flora, 20, a medical student, was killed when the Pan American Airways Boeing 747 headed from London to New York exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing all 259 on board and 11 people on the ground.
Investigators believe suspects hid a bomb made of Semtex in a cassette recorder on board the aircraft.
The British media reported Sunday that Swire, a former explosives officer with the Royal Engineers, made the fake bomb -- which contained a dummy detonator, timer, batteries and pressure switch -- to look like the Lockerbie device.
The replica contained about three-quarters of a pound of marzipan, which the Sunday Express said has a similar appearance and odor to Semtex, the plastic explosive made in Czechoslovakia.
At a news conference Sunday, Swire displayed the cassette player and said it was so heavy the security staff at Heathrow should have been suspicious.
'First of all, the thing when you pick it up is much heavier than it should be,' Swire said. 'That was not noticed. This yellow material here was showing through the grill. These batteries, here, if you had shaken it, were rattling and the reason for leaving these loose like that to rattle was simply that the original also rattled.'
Some of the marzipan was visibly sticking out of the back of the player.
Swire said he also took a replica of a bomb through security at the House of Commons.
The media reports said an airport security officer at Heathrow opened the suitcase containing the cassette player. Swire reportedly was asked if the batteries had been removed. When he said they had been, the security officer replaced the replica without investigating further.
Swire attended a remembrance service Sunday in Tundergath, 5 miles from Lockerbie, where the nose of the aircraft landed that December night.
A Transportation Department spokesman told The Sunday Telegraph that Swire's test of security was similar to those performed by the department, but declined further comment until receiving details of the alleged security breach.
Swire is leader of the UK Families Group, which represents families of the British victims of the Pan Am bombing.
According to the The Sunday Telegraph, Swire showed a fake bomb to other relatives of the victims a year ago.
'To find it inside a suitcase and decide whether it was a bomb was the work of a moment. Any security man could be taught to do it in five minutes,' he said in a recent interview.
Swire has been critical of the British government for failing to conduct an investigation into the bombing similar to the commission that recently reported to President Bush.
'We've been pressing ever since Lockerbie for an independent and comprehensive inquiry into why U.K. security failed to detect a bomb about which they were warned about a month in advance, and the nature of which was described in detail to them,' he said when the presidential commission issued its report to Bush last month.
The U.S. State Department had been warned that a London to New York flight would be the target of a terrorist attack.