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

  • Xi Jinping to meet with Trump in Mar-a-Lago in early April

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet for the first time on April 6-7 at the latter's Florida resort, China's foreign ministry announced Thursday. The future relationship between the world's No. Source
  • Conservative drop-off deadline approaches — but does anyone want out?

    Canada News CBC News
    If any of the 14 candidates running for the Conservative leadership are thinking of dropping out and keeping their name off the ballot, they will soon need to make up their minds. But with a midnight deadline looming on Friday, it doesn't seem that anyone is throwing in the towel just yet. Source
  • 'Very depressing': CIBC staff losing jobs to workers in India, expected to help with training

    Canada News CBC News
    CIBC is eliminating up to 130 jobs in its Toronto finance department and outsourcing the work to India. As part of the transition, staff losing their positions must train other local CIBC employees. Those employees then train the workers in India who will be taking over the jobs. Source
  • 'They are scared': CP workers say rookie engineers ill-prepared for dangerous job

    Canada News CBC News
    High in the mountains of southeastern B.C., the conductor of a 25,000-tonne Canadian Pacific Railway freight train pulling 2.5 kilometres of cars loaded with potash got a bad feeling. Headed west to Revelstoke, the train had just cleared a tunnel and was starting to build momentum downhill when he turned to the engineer, the man operating the massive vehicle, and said: "You know we're tippin' over here?" Source
  • U.S. internet service providers get green light to sell user data — but what about Canada?

    Canada News CBC News
    Privacy protections designed to prevent U.S. internet service providers from sharing or selling subscribers' personal information with third parties — without permission — were dismantled by U.S. Congress on Tuesday. It means that information about the apps American internet subscribers use, the websites they visit, and the things they purchase online — among other things — can potentially be tracked, shared, and monetized by third parties, unless those users opt out. Source
  • Federal Court orders public safety minister to make decision in immigration case

    Canada News CBC News
    In a withering ruling, the Federal Court has ordered Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to make up his mind on a politically sensitive immigration case. The decision from Chief Justice Paul Crampton also makes it clear the minister is obliged to make decisions in a reasonable time frame, no matter how busy he is. Source
  • How will we know when police have earned their way back to Toronto Pride?: Robyn Urback

    Canada News CBC News
    If we accept that uniformed police officers should be banned from Pride parades in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa because of their history of persecution of racialized, gay and other minority communities, as some local Black Lives Matter (BLM) groups and their supporters contend, then a number of other groups should likewise be prohibited from joining the festivities. Source
  • 'Sometimes, I blame myself': Marites Flor on surviving hostage-taking that killed boyfriend Robert Hall

    World News CBC News
    CBC recently travelled to the Philippines to report on a number of stories and issues confronting the Pacific nation. This is the first in that series. In a rare interview with CBC, the Filipino girlfriend of one of two Canadians beheaded by an Islamic militant group in 2016 said that during their nine months in captivity, she was the translator, negotiator and keeper of a dark secret. Source
  • Three killed, four injured after collision near Caledonia, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    CALEDONIA, Ont. - Three people are dead and four others are in hospital following a crash on Wednesday night on a rural road near Caledonia, Ont. Ontario Provincial Police said a passenger van carrying seven people and a car collided shortly after 9 p.m. Source
  • Former Montreal mayor to be sentenced on corruption conviction

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum will be sentenced this afternoon following his conviction on corruption-related charges. The charges stemmed from two separate deals between 2007 and 2010 when Applebaum was mayor of Montreal's largest borough. Source