| 26 September 2022, Monday |

Mawlawi chairs airport security meeting, rules out acts of terror targeting Qatari, Greek planes

Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi presided over an airport security conference on Monday and stated that there was no “sabotage or terrorism” behind the two recent accidents involving Qatari and Greek flights.

“I met with the airport’s security apparatuses to review and analyze the reports that have been released concerning the events that the Qatari and Greek flights were exposed to on January 8, 2022, and January 10, 2022, respectively,” Mawlawi stated.

“With regard to the Qatari plane, the plain reality is that its wheel had ran over an object on the airport grounds; no gunfire was heard, and the pilot never reported anything of the like,” the Minister of Interior said. In reality, one of the plane’s tires ran over a little plant on the airport grounds. All of the studies back this up; it’s the simple fact. “There is no action that involves any type of sabotage or terrorism,” Mawlawi stated emphatically.

“As for the Greek plane, a hole was found under the cockpit. According to reports, this hole has nothing to do with any terrorist act, and it is not even a bullet; the hole has been caused after the plane’s collision with a small — moving metal object — not shooting. This object was present on the plane before it arrived to Beirut. I have technical reports on this, and I have two foreign reports available confirming that this hole was not caused by a bullet. The second report states that the hole resulted from something that had taken place during the preparation of the plane, and before it arrived in Beirut,” Mawlawi added.

Consequently, the Interior Minister stressed the need to be careful not smear the reputation of Beirut airport.

In response to a question about some security gaps at the airport, he asserted that the airport security apparatuses performed all their duties under the full control and supervision of senior commanders.

“There have been no security accidents neither at the airport, nor in its surroundings. The Ministry of Works and Transportation has installed six airport safety cameras, and the chief of security apparatuses follows up on them,” he added.

In response to another question, Mawlawi said, “We’ve asked of the civil aviation to clean the airport’s land because this is within its powers and not within those of the airport security apparatuses.”

Regarding the Greek company’s suspension of its flights to Lebanon, Mawlawi said, “It may have suspended its flights pending the outcome of investigations or for commercial reasons; however, it will be informed about the outcome of both reports.”

  • NNA