An airport security manager put a pipe bomb into her pocket after it was seized from a passenger’s luggage1, a court has heard. The “crude improvised explosive device” was found in the zip lining of the hand luggage of Nadeem Muhammad2, 43, as he went through security at Manchester Airport3 on 30 January. Security terminal manager Deborah Jeffrey told his trial at Manchester Crown Court she was called over by an officer at the security area of terminal three after the device, made of batteries, masking tape, the tube of a marker pen and wire, was discovered inside Muhammad’s small green suitcase.
She said she was told the item had been swabbed and no trace of explosives had been found so she put it into the pocket of her jacket. She said: “I popped it into my pocket.
“I put the item into my pocket so it wouldn’t go missing.”
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. The device was later passed to counter terrorism police and, when examined by experts, found to be a “potentially viable” bomb containing nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose.
Ms Jeffrey said she had been “shocked” to see the object, which was spotted by security officers when Mr Muhammad’s small green suitcase went through scanners at the airport. She said: “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 she had asked Mr Muhammad how the object got into his case and he said he didn’t know and claimed someone else may have put it there. She said: “He was just very calm and just sat, just calm and quiet.”
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. Mr 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 which was 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 detonated the bomb would have had to be very close to the device to connect the wires, putting themselves at greatest risk of injury. Mr Muhammad, of Tinline Street, Bury, 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.
The British Museum has been evacuated amid a “security concern” after a suspicious vehicle was spotted outside the London attraction. Families enjoying a day out at the start of the school holidays were reportedly thrown into panic when they were suddenly asked to leave. The popular attraction said on Twitter: The Museum is evacuated temporarily due to a security concern nearby . We apologise and will update when we can.
Several people took to social media to describe the disruption, with one person tweeting: I ve just been in a British Museum evacuation and it was total chaos.”
Russell Square closed and controlled explosion has taken place . Trying to get to hotel for wedding reception, another person tweeted. One said: Suspicious package in Russell Square . Roads and park cordoned off .
Our offices evacuated. The museum has now reopened and confirmed the closure was down to a security scare. The Metropolitian Police said the operation has now been stood down and that nothing was deemed suspicious.
The leaders of the US and Russia1 both claimed a political victory2 after their first meeting, as the two sides appeared to have brokered a potentially meaningful ceasefire in part of Syria – a surprise development few had anticipated. The Trump administration claimed the President had, from the start of a meeting that lasted two hours and sixteen minutes, pressed Vladimir Putin in a very robust and lengthy exchange over Russia s alleged interference in the US election . Russia then claimed Mr Trump accepted Mr Putin s assurance that it had not . That in turn, was then denied by a US official. Alongside the different versions of the much-anticipated encounter between the leaders of the world s two most heavily armed nuclear powers, it appeared the two sides had managed to pull out something of genuine value – a ceasefire in south-west Syria that would be guaranteed by Russia, the US and Jordan.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the leaders translators were the only other people permitted in the room, said there had been positive chemistry between Mr Putin and Mr Trump. For more than a decade, the relationship between the two countries has been nothing less than tense . In Syria, the US and Russia have taken different sides in a civil conflict that has in many ways become a proxy war.
Yet, Mr Tillerson said Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, had an interest in seeing stability there . Though Mr Tillerson said details about the ceasefire need to be worked out, Mr Lavrov said Russian military police would oversee the ceasefire, with a monitoring centre set up in Jordan. Mr Tillerson said the understanding is designed to reduce violence in an area of Syria near Jordan’s border and which is critical to the US ally’s security . Jordan s Petra news agency said it would go into effect on Sunday. He called the area a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield but said the deal “is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria.
Moscow has staunchly backed Mr Assad, supporting Syrian forces militarily since 2015 . Washington has backed rebels fighting the regime of Mr Assad . However, both the US and Russia have declared their opposition to Isis and claim they are focused on rooting out the extremist group. But, previous ceasefires during Syria s six-year-old civil war have proved fruitless, with one party or another breaching them and leaving little lasting impact.
It was not immediately clear exactly which areas of southwestern Syria would be covered by the upcoming ceasefire but earlier talks between the United States and Russia about a “de-escalation zone” covered Deraa province, on the border with Jordan, and Quneitra, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said that while he welcomed any ceasefire in Syria he wanted to see results on the ground.
The recent history of the Syrian civil war is littered with ceasefires and it would be nice .. . one day to have a ceasefire, Mr Fallon said at an event in Washington.
None of these have turned out to be ceasefires, they have been broken persistently, broken by the regime and indeed broken by Russian activity itself . So.. . we welcome any ceasefire, but let’s see it, let’s see the results on the ground, he said.
On the domestic front, Mr Trump s decision to confront Mr Putin over Russia s alleged interference in the US election, will only help him home in Washington . Much of the US President s term has been taken up fighting off allegations that his campaign team colluded with Moscow to tilt the contest in his favour. Trump meets Putin for first time since winning presidency
Several probes into the issue are underway on Capitol Hill, while a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, is leading a federal investigation into possible collusion and whether Mr Trump may have obstructed justice . His willingness to ask Mr Putin about the issue, will be of particular relief to members of his own party, who have been concerned that he not shy away from the issue.
Mr Tillerson said President pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement . He said the Russians had asked for proof and evidence of its involvement.
The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the Russian-US relationship forward, he said.
I think the president is rightly focused on how do we move forward from something that may be an intractable disagreement at this point. A day earlier, speaking in Poland, Mr Trump had said Russia probably meddled in the election but said that other countries likely did as well. Mr Trump left the scene of his conversation with Mr Putin, to head to Hamburg s Elbphilharmonie, a concert that is the venue for a formal G20 dinner . He was accompanied by the First Lady Melania Trump.
Earlier, the US President had spoken to reporters as he and Mr Putin posed for photographs before their discussions.
President Putin and I have been discussing various things, and I think it s going very well, said Mr Trump . We look forward to a lot of very positive happenings for Russia and for the United States, and for everyone concerned. For his part, Mr Putin said he happy to be able to meet Mr Trump in person.
We spoke over the phone but phone conversations are never enough, definitely, he said .
I hope that, as you have said, our meetings will yield positive results.