Security video shows laptop handed to Somalian jet bomb suspect

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Security video footage taken at Mogadishu airport shows two men handing what looks like a laptop computer to the suspected suicide bomber after he passed through the security checkpoint, Somalia's government spokesman said Sunday.

See Full Article

At least one of the men delivering the laptop was an airport employee, government spokesman Abdisalam Aato told The Associated Press.

The man who received the laptop is the suspected suicide bomber who was blown from the Daallo Airlines jet on Tuesday creating a gaping hole in the fuselage and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing back at the Mogadishu airport. It is believed the laptop-like device was the bomb that caused the explosion. The plane's pilot said that if the explosion happened when the aircraft was at a higher altitude it could have caused the jet to crash.

"At least 20 people, including the two men in the CCTV footage who handed over the laptop to the suspected bomber, were arrested in connection with the explosion in the aircraft," said spokesman Aato.

"It was a deliberate act of terrorism," he said. "Investigations are still ongoing." Somalia's government has said it will tighten security at the airport to prevent other threats.

The CCTV video shows two men, one in a bright orange airport security vest, handing a laptop-like bag to a passenger waiting to board.

The video of the apparent security lapse at the airport fits with the description of lax security by the pilot of the plane.

"The security is zero," pilot Vlatko Vodopivec told AP.

"When we park (the plane) there, some 20 to 30 people come to the tarmac," said Vodopivec, a veteran pilot who has made numerous flights to the airport. "No one has a badge or those yellow vests. They enter and leave the plane, and no one knows who is who ... They can put anything inside when passengers leave the aircraft."

The explosion happened about 15 minutes after the plane, with 75 passengers on board, took off from the airport and was at 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) ascending toward 31,000 feet.

"When we went past 10,000 feet, we switched off the fasten belts sign and the cabin crew started serving passengers," Vodopivec said in an interview in Belgrade. "When we climbed past 11,000 feet, it exploded. At first, I thought it was a window breaking. However, we soon sensed the smell of the explosives when smoke came rushing into the cockpit.

"All lasted very shortly," he said. "We immediately demanded an emergency return to the airport because that was the only solution. With a heavy heart, because there the security is minimal and we had to remain there for a couple of days afterward."

If the explosion happened at a higher altitude, the hole in the fuselage might have caused more severe structural damage, he said.

"If we were higher, the whole plane could have disintegrated after the explosion," Vodopivec said.

Because the plane was at a lower altitude, he was able to land safely, he said. "The plane acted normally and we virtually returned normally. Engines and hydraulics worked normally."

The explosion killed one passenger, Abdullahi Abdisalam Borle, according to Somali officials who did not give further details. A man's body was found in the town of Balad, 30 kilometers (about 18 miles) north of Mogadishu, according to police who said he might have been blown from the plane.

Borle is suspected to have been the suicide bomber, the AP was told by a senior Somali civil aviation official, who insisted on anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Somalia faces an insurgency from the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which has carried out deadly attacks in Somalia and neighboring countries.

Daallo Airlines, which is based in Dubai, has temporarily suspended its operations in Somalia's capital following the incident but hopes to restart them soon, said Mohammed Ibrahim Yassin, the airline's chief executive.

Vodopivec also highlighted additional security concerns in the Somali capital, including some planes that are struck by gunfire on approach to the airport.

"You can land at the airport only from the seaside," he said. "On the other side of the runway is the city. Bigger planes don't land over the city because of security concerns. Some planes landed with bullet holes in their fuselage."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Turkish police fire tear gas on banned LGBT Pride March [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    ISTANBUL — As Pride Parade activities across North America have been met by protesters arguing about inclusiveness, other places around the world struggle for the right to even hold marches. Turkish police stopped activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights from gathering in large numbers for an LGBT pride event in Istanbul on Sunday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements defying a ban imposed by the governor. Source
  • 'I couldn't let that little girl die'; Teen dangling from Six Flags' 'Sky Ride' falls into arms of crowd [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    QUEENSBURY, N.Y. — A teenager fell about 25 feet (about 8 metres) from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, tumbling into a crowd of park guests and employees gathered below to catch her before she hit the ground. Source
  • 'We saw bodies everywhere'; Oil tanker explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153 people [Photos] [Video

    World News Toronto Sun
    BAHAWALPUR, Pakistan — An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing 153 people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel, a hospital official said as the death toll continued to rise. Source
  • Thank you note from Trump is 'memorabilia' for N.L. political watcher

    Canada News CTV News
    BAULINE, N.L. -- In a world of political cynicism and voter apathy, Doug Kavanagh is the ultimate engaged citizen. And now his growing collection of correspondence with leaders and news editors across Canada and the world has another addition: a thank-you note from U.S. Source
  • Police operation unfolds in Moncton, N.B. following report of gunshots

    Canada News CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- Police in New Brunswick have arrested two people in connection with a shooting incident in downtown Moncton on Sunday. Sgt. Andre Pepin of the Codiac RCMP said a 25-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman are in custody following an hours-long police operation. Source
  • N.B. police arrest two people after report of gunshots

    Canada News CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- Police in New Brunswick have arrested two people in connection with a shooting incident in downtown Moncton on Sunday. Sgt. Andre Pepin of the Codiac RCMP said a 25-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman are in custody following an hours-long police operation. Source
  • At least 3 dead, 30 missing after tourist boat sinks near Colombian city

    World News CBC News
    A rescue operation is underway in Colombia after a tourist boat with about 150 people on board sank in a reservoir near Medellin. At least three people have been confirmed dead and 30 are missing. The air force said on Twitter that it was sending a helicopter to the Guatape reservoir while Medellin's mayor said firefighters and scuba divers were heading to the town. Source
  • At least 3 dead, 30 missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

    World News CBC News
    A rescue operation is underway in Colombia after a tourist boat with about 150 people on board sank in a reservoir near Medellin. At least three people have been confirmed dead and 30 are missing. The air force said on Twitter that it was sending a helicopter to the Guatape reservoir while Medellin's mayor said firefighters and scuba divers were heading to the town. Source
  • 3 dead as tourist boat with 150 aboard sinks in Colombia

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA -- A rescue operation is underway in Colombia after a tourist boat with about 150 people on board sank in a reservoir near Medellin. At least three people have been confirmed dead. The air force said on Twitter that it was sending a helicopter to the Guatape reservoir while Medellin's mayor said firefighters and scuba divers were heading to the town. Source
  • 3 dead, 30 missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA -- A multi-story tourist ferry packed with about 150 passengers for the holiday weekend capsized on a reservoir near the Colombian city of Medellin on Sunday. Police said three people were dead and 30 missing. Source