PHOTOS: Investigators Probe Al-Shabaab’s Beledweyne Airport Blast

Newly released photos show investigators probing the equipment used in al-Shabaab’s most recent laptop bomb attack at Beledweyne airport on Monday.

The pictures of the investigation show scattered wires on top of plastic bag, as well as a bombed out vehicle and luggage nearby.

On Monday, Reuters reported the explosion resulted in several injuries after the bomb, which could have been intended to be smuggled on a flight, went off at a checkpoint near the airport:

Two Somali soldiers and an African Union peacekeeper were wounded when Islamist militants detonated a bomb outside an airport in the south central town of Beledweyne, the group and a local military source said on Monday.

The bomb was hidden in a “paper bag”, according to Ibrahim, a local military officer who did not wish to reveal his full name.

After a hotel attack in 2013 and the Daallo airlines incident in February, the Beledweyne explosion marks at least the third time in which al-Shabaab has employed a laptop bomb in an operation.

The Kenyan government, which seeks to establish direct flights to the U.S., has tried to allay fears that al-Shabaab poses a similar threat to its aviation security after a Kenyan security memo leaked details of the group’s intention to unleash suicide bombers on its airports.

KE statement on airport security

Nevertheless, those fears persist:

A security notice published by the United States’ Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) on February 26 advised airlines to be more vigilant when flying into and out of Kenyan airports. Incidentally, the advisory was published on the FAA website on the same day an internal memo was distributed to KAA’s airport managers and later leaked to the public.

Categories: al-Shabaab, Kenya

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