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

  • Multiple people injured after shots fired on busy Toronto street

    Canada News CTV News
    There are reports of multiple injuries after shots rang out in a busy Toronto neighbourhood Sunday night. Police, paramedics and firefighters have converged on the scene in the area of Danforth and Logan avenues, in Toronto’s east end. Source
  • 'Horrifying': Holocaust education sign vandalized in Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police are investigating after a lawn sign promoting Holocaust education was vandalized over the weekend. The United Jewish Appeal’s sign, featuring well-known Holocaust survivor and educator Max Eisen, was taken down after someone spray-painted “achtung” on it. Source
  • Woman says she faced 'degrading' questions about emotional support dog at Que. Walmart

    Canada News CTV News
    A woman in Quebec said she felt disrespected and embarrassed when a Walmart employee confronted her about bringing her emotional support dog to the store. Louise Fournier said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and her support dog, a Chihuahua named Bizou, is her “everything. Source
  • Ryan Straschnitzki's return to the ice stirs 'mixed emotions'

    Canada News CBC News
    Humboldt Bronco Ryan Straschnitzki tried out sledge hockey for the first time Friday, joined by his father Tom, girlfriend Erika, Team Canada's Chris Cederstrand and Philadelphia Flyer Corgan Knight. It was his return to the ice in the wake of the tragic bus crash April 6 that killed 16 of his teammates and colleagues and injured 13. Source
  • A look at the 17 people killed in the Missouri boat accident

    World News CTV News
    BRANSON, Mo. -- The 17 people killed when a tourist boat capsized in a Missouri lake included nine members of one family, a couple celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary and a grandmother who family members say saved her granddaughter's life. Source
  • G20 calls for more dialogue on rising trade tensions

    World News CTV News
    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- The world's top financial officials called Sunday for more dialogue on trade disputes that threaten global economic growth, with one warning that differences remain and tensions could escalate further. The two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations came as the United States clashes with China and other nations over trade, with the nations imposing tariffs on billions of dollars of the the other's goods. Source
  • Magnitude 5.9 earthquake in western Iran injures nearly 290

    World News CBC News
    A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit western Iran on Sunday, injuring at least 287 people, hours after two quakes struck Hormozgan province in the south, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported. Eight of the injured had been hospitalized and the rest were released after treatment, Houshang Bazvand, governor of the affected province of Kermanshah, told IRNA. Source
  • 'He actually survived': Man who disappeared last month found alive in the bush

    Canada News CBC News
    They didn't know where he was for more than a month, but now a father of three — who disappeared after going to a medical appointment in northern Manitoba — has been reunited with his family. Russell Adrian Hyslop, 26, was found hiding under a shack frightened and exhausted on Friday evening, said his mom Jeanette Shaoullie. Source
  • Security aide to French president charged in protester beating

    World News CBC News
    A French judge handed preliminary charges Sunday to one of President Emmanuel Macron's top security aides after video surfaced that showed him beating a protester at a May Day demonstration. The initial charges against Alexandre Benalla came the same day French authorities opened a judicial investigation of the assault. Source
  • Anti-Semitic graffiti in North York is 'cowardly and horrific,' Jewish group says

    Canada News CBC News
    Anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled across the forehead of a Holocaust survivor featured on a lawn sign in North York is "cowardly and horrific," a national Jewish organization claims. The word, "achtung" appeared spray-painted on a sign promoting Holocaust education outside Beth Jacob Synagogue, near Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West, on Saturday, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto said in a statement. Source