A man who tried to smuggle a bomb on to a Ryanair flight from Manchester to Italy was allowed to fly two days later.
Nadeem Muhammad, 43, was searched as he attempted to board a flight to Bergamo, when security officers discovered a pipe bomb, made from batteries, tape, a marker pen and pins, which he’d concealed in the zip lining of a small suitcase he was carrying.
A trial taking place at Manchester crown court yesterday was told Muhammad had ‘intended to detonate’ the device on the Ryanair flight on January 30.
Airport security swabbed the device but they found ‘no trace of explosives’, so concluded it was not dangerous, writes the Guardian.
Muhammad was then questioned by police and said the device could have been planted in his bag by someone else, possibly his wife.
He missed the flight, but was not arrested, and was able to board another flight to Italy just a few days later on February 5.
Jonathan Sandiford, for the prosecution, said:
At that stage nobody had realised this was a real device and the defendant was allowed to go on his way.
The court heard how the device was then examined again, on February 8, and suspicions were raised and a bomb squad were called.
Explosives experts found it was a ‘crude but potentially viable improvised explosive device’ and Muhammad was subsequently arrested when he returned to the UK on February 12.
Jonathan Sandiford, continued:
The prosecution say that on 30 January this year the defendant attempted to carry an assembled and viable improvised explosive device through security at Manchester airport and on to the Ryanair flight with which he was booked to fly to Bergamo, or Milan, in Italy.
The only reason he would have for trying to get that explosive device on to the aeroplane was that he intended to detonate it within the confines of the Boeing 737 aircraft.
He also said the prosecution ‘did not know if terrorism was the motive’, adding:
That may be the most likely motive, but equally it could be a desire to commit suicide or another purpose altogether.
Muhammad, who lives in Bury, Greater Manchester, denies possession of explosives with intent to endanger life or property and an alternative charge of possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances.
The trial continues.