Tuesday, February 5, 2013

► BURKINA FASO: Man suspected of being a terrorist hauled off Ethiopian Airlines flight after alleged "parcel bomb" found.

Ethiopian AirlinesA man, on Sunday, was taken into custody in Burkina Faso after an alleged parcel bomb was found to be in his possession as he prepared to depart Ouagadougou on board an Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Boeing 737-800 operating flight ET926 from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Ethiopian 737 in OUA
Ethiopian 737 in OUA (Ouha)
According to Senegalese paper Le Quotidien, the "bomb" was disposed of in the basement of the airport's parking lot by Burkinabe bomb disposal services.

The Chief of Staff of the Head of State of Burkina Faso, General Gilbert Diendéré, went to the scene for a first hand account where he then told reporters that the suspect had been hauled off the flight and taken into custody. 
"We are interrogating the person. We do not know if he is linked with north Mali Islamists and the sub-region, but interrogations will tell us if there is a link or not. In all cases, it was our duty to take the necessary measures to prevent anything more serious from happening."
Source [senixbar]

The preliminary investigation has revealed that the individual, who has yet to be named and presented to the press, would have been aboard the flight at the same time as his parcel.

The military however, did not confirm in absolute that the man, said to be of Tuareg descent, had indeed intended to blow up the airliner, or that the parcel that was discovered, was in fact, an actual bomb adding that "there is no evidence that the individual or their products were dangerous."

The incident caused a delay of 10 hours.

Burkina Faso has pledged 500 troops to Mali as part of the West African forces to support the Malian army in a war against Al-Qaeda aligned Islamist rebels in northern Mali.