MOGADISHU, Somalia, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Somali terrorist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility Sunday for a failed attempt earlier this month to destroy a passenger plane in a bomb attack.
The BBC quoted an email statement by the group as saying the attack was in retaliation for NATO anti-terrorism operations in Somalia.
Daallo Airlines flight A321 made an emergency landing at the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu on Feb. 2 after a suicide bomber detonated on board at around 11,000 feet. The blast claimed one victim — the alleged bomber, who was sucked out a hole blown into the fuselage.
Last week, Somali authorities released CCTV footage showing the accused bomber, 55-year-old Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, being handed a laptop beyond a security checkpoint.
The footage shows a man in an orange safety vest and one other suspected accomplice hand over the computer, which investigators believe contained the bomb.
Somali officials said at least 20 people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Most of the passengers, including Borleh, had been re-directed from a Turkish Airlines flight that was cancelled due to bad weather.
Al-Shabab — which is an affiliate of al-Qaida — said it had targeted the Turkish flight because of the NATO member’s support for Western military operations in Somalia.