MOGADISHU, Somalia, Closed circuit TV video released Monday appears to show Mogadishu airport workers handing a laptop computer to the suspected suicide bomber who later tried to bring down a Daallo Airlines flight.
The video, released by the Somali government, shows the hand off happening in an area past Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport’s security checkpoint with at least one of the alleged accomplices dressed like an airport worker, a government official said. Investigators believe the laptop to actually be the bomb that nearly took down the plane.
The bomber, 55-year-old Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, — who was supposed to be ona Turkish Airlines flight that was canceled due to bad weather — was the only victim of the bomb when it blew up near him and sucked him out the side of the plane at 11,000 feet. The pilot was still able to safely land the plane back at the airport.
Since the video was first seen by investigators, at least 20 people — including multiple airport workers — have been arrested for some level of involvement. Though no one has taken credit for the bombing, Somalia has been battling extremist group al-Shabab, an al-Qaida ally, for years. The group targets people who don’t adhere to its extremist ideology.
“At first, I thought it was a window breaking,” said the pilot, captain Vladimir Vodopivec. “However, we soon sensed the smell of the explosives when smoke came rushing into the cockpit.”
By Shawn Price