Nadeem Muhammad, who had been released by airport security after trying to take a “crude but viable” nail bomb onto a Ryanair flight, has been found guilty of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.
Forty-three-year-old Muhammad was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday after trying to bring a “crude improvised explosive device” in his carry-on luggage on January 30th, the BBC reports.
The court had heard that the device was detected by airport scanners in Muhammad’s carry-on luggage on his way to Bergamo, Italy. The device was confiscated but swabs failed to detect any explosives. Following questioning from Manchester Airport’s counter terror unit, he was released and returned to his home in Bury.
On February 5, Pakistani-born Muhammad, who holds an Italian passport, caught another flight to Italy and was only arrested on his return after further investigation of the device led a forensic investigator to “immediately suspected it was more sinister”, according to The Telegraph.
Greater Manchester Police admitted there had been “errors with our assessment of the device” in the first instance.
Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford told the court: “It is a matter of common sense that the only reason he would have tried to get that device onto the aeroplane was that he intended to detonate it in the confines of the Boeing 737, endangering the lives of the passengers on board and causing damage to the aircraft itself.”
The pipe bomb was made from batteries, wire, masking tape, and a marker pen tube. The discovery of the device containing nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose led to Muhammad’s Italian home being searched. He was then questioned by Italian police and released. Shortly after landing in the UK on February 12, he was arrested by British police.
Muhammed, who claimed he had never seen the device before, will be charged on August 23rd.
The Crown Prosecution Service said his motive “remains unknown”, adding: “However, it is clear that the consequences, had he been successful, could have been disastrous.”