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UK: Intel lets Muslim walk free after finding working pipe bomb in suitcase at Manchester Airport

Manchester airport security manager put ‘working pipe bomb’ in her pocket ‘so it wouldn’t go missing’ after it was seized from Ryanair passenger

  • Explosive device found in suitcase of Nadeem Muhammad on his way to Italy
  • Object was scanned and swabbed before Deborah Jeffrey put it in her pocket
  • Device later handed to terrorism officers with experts finding it dangerous
  • An investigationg found the object to contain  nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose

An airport worker put a ‘working pipe bomb’ in her pocket after it was seized from a Ryanair passenger’s luggage.

The ‘crude improvised explosive device’ was found in the zip lining of Nadeem Muhammad’s suitcase, as he went through security at Manchester Airport on January 30.

Security terminal manager Deborah Jeffrey then ‘popped’ the dangerous object it her jacket, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The 'explosive device' was found in the zip lining of Ryanair passenger Nadeem Muhammad's suitcase, as he went through security at Manchester Airport


Ms Jeffrey said: ‘I put the item into my pocket so it wouldn’t go missing.’

The device, made of batteries, masking tape, the tube of a marker pen and wire, was found to have no traces of destructive substances after a swab and scan at the airport.

Ms Jeffrey, who has worked at the airport for 19 years, said she later put it through an X-ray machine but could not see a detonator and did not believe it was viable.

It was later passed to counter terrorism police and found to be a ‘potentially viable’ bomb containing nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose.

The object had been spotted by security officers when Muhammad’s small green hand luggage went through scanners at the airport.

Ms Jeffrey said she had been ‘shocked’ when the device was first brought to her attention.

‘I thought ‘my God, what is it?

‘There are strange things people carry in their bags but I’d not seen anything like that before’, she said.

Muhammad was making his way from Manchester Airport (file photo) to Italy when the device was found


Ms Jeffrey asked Muhammad how the object got into his case and he said he didn’t know and claimed someone else may have put it there, the court heard.

She said: ‘He was just very calm and just sat, just calm and quiet.’

Muhammad, who was attempting to board a flight to Italy, was then questioned by counter terrorism officers but not arrested.

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

It was only when the device was examined by a forensics officer on February 8 that suspicions were raised and the bomb squad was called.

Muhammad, who was born in Pakistan but had an Italian passport, was arrested when he returned to the UK on February 12.

Parts of the improvised explosive were shown to the jury on Tuesday.

Muhammad said he did not know how the explosive device made it into his luggage, Manchester Crown Court (pictured) heard


The court heard the device could have been detonated if action was taken to connect wires seen protruding from it.

In a report read to the court, forensics expert Lorna Philp said the bomb would have had the potential to cause injury to people and damage to property if detonated.

She said the person who set off the bomb would have had to be very close to the device to connect the wires, putting themselves at greatest risk of injury.

Muhammad, from Bury in Greater Manchester, denies possession of explosives with intent to endanger life or property and an alternative charge of possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday morning, when the defence case is due to start.



3 thoughts on “UK: Intel lets Muslim walk free after finding working pipe bomb in suitcase at Manchester Airport

  1. Born in Pakistan. Bona fides from Italy. Resides in UK.

    Never fly with your ordnance. Send it ahead via FEDEX and pick it up when you get there.

    Someone has clearly dropped the ball in this man’s religious training.


  2. This sends a message out that terrorists are aloud to finish their holidays before they are arrested.

    Madness. The customs official should be tried for endangering lives. She obviously thought that it looked like a bomb but still let him go. Why did she not take it seriously and call bomb experts immediately, this could have been part of a bigger attack. She has failed in her duty to protect the public.


Published under FAIR USE of factual content citing US 17 U.S.C. § 107 fair use protection, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and UK Section 30(1) of the 1988 Act.

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