Nadeem Muhammad, 43, has been jailed for 18 years at Manchester Crown Court for possessing an explosive with intent to endanger life after a pipe bomb was found in his luggage
A would-be terrorist who attempted to carry a pipe bomb on to a flight at Manchester Airport has today been jailed for 18 years.
Nadeem Muhammad was jailed at Manchester Crown Court for possessing an explosive with intent to endanger life after a pipe bomb was found in his hand luggage.
Muhammad, 43, was attempting to board a flight to Bergamo, Italy, on January 30 when security officers found the device, made from batteries, tape, a marker pen and pins.
When the object was swabbed there was no trace of explosive on the outside and officers did not believe it was a viable device.
It was only after further forensic examination weeks later that it was found to be dangerous and Muhammad was charged with a bomb plot.
CCTV shows Muhammad, wearing a dark parka coat and jeans, stroll between crowds of other passengers as he gets off a shuttle and walks through the airport’s entrance.
Muhammad was found guilty of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life at Manchester Crown Court.
Earlier this month a jury reached a majority verdict of 10 to two on the charge following 15 hours and 45 minutes of deliberations.
During the trial it was revealed Muhammad was released shortly after being questioned by counter terrorism officers when the bomb was first found.
He was then allowed to board another flight to Bergamo, near Milan, five days later.
The court also heard Muhammad, who was born in Pakistan but had an Italian passport, was planning to detonate the bomb once on board the Boeing 737.
The ‘crude improvised explosive device’ was discovered by airport security when his hand luggage went through scanners.
But when airport security swabbed the bomb, there was no trace of explosives on the outside and officers did not believe it was a viable device.
It was initially kept in the pocket of Deborah Jeffrey, the security manager at terminal three, before being handed to police.
Muhammad from Bury, Greater Manchester, was questioned by officers from the counter terrorism unit but released.
He returned to the airport the following day to collect his mobile phone, which had been taken by police, and then again on February 5 when he boarded another flight to Italy.
It was only on February 8 when the device was examined by forensics officers that suspicions were raised and the bomb squad was called.
CCTV captured Muhammad walking through the airport with the pipe bomb in his luggage
The explosive was then sent for examination by expert Lorna Philp, who found it was a ‘crude but potentially viable improvised explosive device’.
The device contained double base smokeless propellant, normally found in firearms ammunition, which was made up of nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose.
Italian police raided Muhammad’s home and workplace on February 9 and took him to a police station.
But he was released again after a couple of hours and on February 12 boarded another flight back to the UK.
He was arrested when he arrived back at Manchester Airport.
Muhammad had told the trial he was surprised to see the bomb when it was found in his bag and it had nothing ‘at all’ to do with him.
He told the court: ‘I had never seen it before.’
Following the sentencing, Sue Hemming, head of the special crime and counter terrorism division in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: ‘Despite extensive investigation, Nadeem Muhammad’s motive for attempting to take this device onto a plane remains unknown.
‘However it is clear that the consequences, had he been successful, could have been disastrous.’
A Manchester Airport spokesman said: ‘We take security seriously at Manchester Airport, and we continue to work closely with the police and other agencies to provide passengers with a safe and secure environment.
‘We are proud of the work that our teams do to ensure the safety and security of passengers. In this instance, the actions of our security team led to the detection of a suspicious device.
‘Following its detection our team handed the passenger and the device over to the police to investigate further. These actions prevented a potentially dangerous item from being taken on board an aircraft.’