A man suspected of trying to bring an explosive device onto a plane in Manchester has been found guilty.
The Manchester Crown Court recently found Nadeem Muhammad, a 43-year-old from Manchester in the UK, guilty of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life. Muhammad had attempted to bring an improvised pipe bomb through Manchester airport security on January 30. The bomb was tucked into his luggage. He claims that someone else put it there.
When security officials discovered the bomb, Muhammad was heading for a Ryanair plane bound for Bergamo, Italy. The device was confiscated and checked for explosives; the tests returned negative results. Muhammad was then questioned by police, but not arrested. On February 5, he went back to the airport and boarded a plane to Italy. In the meantime, officials did more testing and determined the bomb was actually viable enough to cause damage to a plane. Muhammad’s home in Italy was searched but he was again released after questioning. He flew back to the UK on February 12 and was arrested once the plane landed.
Pat Karney, councilor from the Manchester City Council, spoke out to the BBC about the errors and delays leading to Muhammad’s arrest.
“There’s something about this that doesn’t sit right,” he told the BBC. “The airport says there’s no problem, the police come out with the usual line about lessons learned but I just don’t get the narrative that everything worked well. Greater Manchester Council owns the airport and I’ll be writing to our councilors who have responsibility for the airport to ask them to demand a full inquiry.”
Muhammad will be sentenced on August 23.