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.
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.
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.
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.