Manchester Airport pipe bomb plot: Nadeem Muhammad guilty

A man has been found guilty of trying to smuggle a pipe bomb on to a plane at Manchester Airport.

The “crude improvised explosive device” was found in Nadeem Muhammad’s carry-on luggage as he went through security on 30 January.

Prosecutors said the 43-year-old from Bury intended to detonate the device on a Ryanair flight to Bergamo, Italy.

He was found guilty of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life at Manchester Crown Court.

‘Potentially viable’

Muhammad, of Tinline Street, was born in Pakistan and holds an Italian passport.

He was attempting to board the flight to northern Italy when the item was discovered. He told airport officials that someone else had put it in his luggage.

The court heard how he was questioned by police but not arrested.

He then returned to the airport on 5 February and flew to Italy.

A forensic examination of the device, which was made from batteries, wire, masking tape and a marker pen tube, later found it was “potentially viable”, the jury was told.

‘Disastrous’

It was found to contain nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose, which led to Muhammad’s home in Italy being searched.

After being questioned by Italian police, he was released and boarded a flight back to the UK on 12 February. He was arrested by UK officers shortly after it landed.

Muhammad wept as the majority verdict of 10 to two was given in court.

Following the hearing, the Crown Prosecution Service’s Sue Hemming said his motive “remains unknown”, adding: “However, it is clear that the consequences, had he been successful, could have been disastrous.”

He will be sentenced on 23 August.

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