Man caught with pipe bomb in hand luggage at Manchester Airport jailed for 18 years

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A man who tried to smuggle a pipe bomb in his hand luggage onto a plane at Manchester Airport has been jailed for 18 years.

Nadeem Muhammad, 43, was found to be carrying a “crude improvised explosive device” as he went through security at the airport on January 30.

He was trying to board a Ryanair flight to Bergamo, in Italy.

After sentencing, Judge Patrick Field QC criticised airport security for making a “wholly erroneous and potentially dangerous” conclusion that the bomb was not viable after it was seized by officers.

Nadeem Muhammad, who was found with a pipe bomb in his hand luggage at Manchester Airport (PA)

Muhammad, from Bury, told airport officials someone else had put it in his luggage when he was caught at security.

A forensic examination of the device later found potentially dangerous explosives, which led to Muhammad’s home being searched.

He was arrested in the UK having been allowed to fly from Italy on February 12.

The judge said he was alarmed by evidence and the “lack of concern” expressed by both airport officials and the police.

ACC Russ Jackson, responsible for the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “It was only when the item was examined forensically days later that it was found to be a potentially viable device.

“At this point efforts were immediately made to arrest Muhammad.”

He went on: “I want to be clear that we accept there were errors made in the assessment of this item.

“This is an extremely serious incident at a time when people are concerned about terrorism, especially here in Manchester and whilst it should be acknowledged that the security checks were effective in finding the item, the assessment of the device should have been more comprehensive and taken place sooner.

“These lessons have been learned and reviews of operating procedures have already taken place.”

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