Flier with pipe bomb con­victed in U.K.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

LON­DON — A man who ar­rived at a Bri­tish air­port for a flight with a pipe bomb in his carry-on lug­gage was con­victed Tues­day of try­ing to smug­gle ex­plo­sives onto a plane.

Nadeem Muham­mad, 43, de­nied wrong­do­ing af­ter screen­ers found the de­vice in­side the zip lin­ing of his bag at Manch­ester Air­port on Jan. 30. He said the bomb, made from mask­ing tape, bat­ter­ies and a marker pen tube, must have been planted by some­one else.

But pros­e­cu­tors, who said af­ter the ver­dict that the mo­tive was still un­known, said he planned to det­o­nate it dur­ing a Ryanair flight to Italy.

Dur­ing his trial, pros­e­cu­tors also re­vealed that se­cu­rity of­fi­cers didn’t ini­tially think the bomb was vi­able. Muham­mad was al­lowed to fly to Italy sev­eral days later.

Af­ter he de­parted, a foren­sic ex­pert ex­am­ined the de­vice and judged it to be “crude but po­ten­tially vi­able.” It con­tained smoke­less pro­pel­lant, which is nor­mally found in firearms am­mu­ni­tion and made of ni­tro­glyc­erin and ni­tro­cel­lu­lose.

Muham­mad, who was born in Pak­istan and has an Ital­ian pass­port, was ar­rested when he re­turned to Bri­tain.

He sobbed af­ter the jury found him guilty of pos­sess­ing ex­plo­sives with in­tent to en­dan­ger life or prop­erty. He is to be sen­tenced Aug. 23.

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