Security video shows laptop handed to jet bomb suspect in Somalia

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

  • Grinch-like Christmas light thief can’t dim senior’s spirit [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    ST. CATHARINES, ONT. - Some Grinch-like person stole John A MacDonald’s Christmas lights — but they couldn’t harden his heart. MacDonald, a St. Catharines senior who is in bad health and grieving the loss of his wife, was stunned when he went outside his home on Rockwood Avenue. Source
  • 6 police officers killed by Cairo bomb blast

    World News CBC News
    Six policemen were killed and three wounded on Friday when a roadside bomb exploded near a security checkpoint in Cairo, the interior ministry said. The attack, close to a government building in a middle-class neighbourhood of Cairo, was the latest in a series of security incidents in Egypt often claimed by radical Islamists. Source
  • Trudeau, premiers meet in Ottawa today to craft climate deal

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers will gather in Ottawa today to try and reach a national climate agreement, a document Ottawa hopes will help the country meet its greenhouse gas emission targets. The agreement will include a reference to pricing carbon, but will also stress flexibility to allow provincial and territorial governments to limit the impact carbon pricing will have on their economies. Source
  • Dutch court finds Geert Wilders guilty of hate speech

    World News CBC News
    A Dutch court convicted populist anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders of hate speech Friday at the end of a trial he branded a politically motivated "charade" that endangered freedom of speech. Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court would not impose a sentence because the conviction was punishment enough for a democratically elected lawmaker. Source
  • Ghana's opposition claims victory, but electoral commission still to weigh in

    World News CBC News
    Ghana's main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, has won the country's presidential election with an absolute majority over President John Mahama, the private radio stations Joy FM and Citi FM said on Friday. The two respected news stations based their projections on results from Wednesday's election announced at the constituency level. Source
  • Trudeau, premiers meet in Ottawa to craft climate deal

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers will gather in Ottawa today to try and reach a national climate agreement, a document Ottawa hopes will help the country meet its greenhouse gas emission targets. The agreement will include a reference to pricing carbon, but will also stress flexibility to allow provincial and territorial governments to limit the impact carbon pricing will have on their economies. Source
  • Russia threatens retaliation over latest round of Canadian sanctions

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada has quietly imposed additional sanctions on Russian nationals over the annexation of Crimea and Moscow's ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. The new measures, including asset-freezing and a prohibition on business dealings, were passed by the Liberal cabinet on Nov. Source
  • Collecting Starbucks or WestJet rewards? They may never expire thanks to Ontario bill

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario's new law banning loyalty programs from slapping an expiry date on points will benefit many consumers, not just Air Miles collectors. Starbucks has already said its rewards program will no longer have an expiry policy in Ontario, and other loyalty programs offered by airlines like WestJet and Lufthansa, as well as clothing store Talbots, will also apparently have to end their expiry rules. Source
  • A truly feminist government would consider the plight of Indigenous men: Robyn Urback

    Canada News CBC News
    The government of so-called evidence-based decision making is ignoring a glut of evidence that would, in a non-image-obsessed scenario, compel it to expand its inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) to include missing and murdered Indigenous men. Source
  • Americans getting better deal than Canadians on rebate for Samsung washers

    Canada News CBC News
    Samsung, the giant South Korean conglomerate, is having one of those years. Most people have heard about its premium Note7 mobile phones catching on fire. But that's not the end of it. Samsung is also dealing with washers that can come apart, and is now facing questions about why Canadian customers are being offered different terms than Americans on rebates for those recalled washers. Source