Somali authorities arrested 20 people believed to be involved with a suicide bombing that forced an airplane to make an emergency landing last Tuesday, Feb 2.
Only two people were injured in the bombing attack on a Daallo Airlines Airbus A321 that held over 70 passengers. The bombing suspect was identified as Abdulahi Abdisalam Borle, the alleged nephew of Somalia’s Muslim Brotherhood Foreign Minister. Fifteen minutes after takeoff, Abdisalam fell out of the aircraft through the meter-sized hole left by the bomb.
Officials originally believed it was sudden air decompression that accounted for the explosion. However, the pilot, 64-year-old Vladimir Vodopivec claimed he knew that it was a bombing and not a technical difficulty. Since the bombing didn’t damage the plane’s navigation system, Vodopivec was able to successfully land the aircraft.
Somalia’s Transport and Aviation Minister Ali Ahmed Jama has since confirmed that the bomb was intended to ruin the plane and kill all of its passengers.
Daallo Airlines is based in Djibouti and its airplanes fly across the Horn of Africa and the Gulf. The head of the airline, Yasin Olad, claims that passengers were originally supposed to board a Turkish Airlines flight that had been cancelled.
Olad also claims that Daallo Airlines is currently implementing new security measures to avoid similar future attacks.