British tourist removed from plane in Bali after ‘turning up for flight with toy bomb’

December 8, 2015 6:39 am

 

Davide
Fogli told officials that he bought the item featuring a timer attached
to what looked like sticks of dynamite at a toy store. Photo / Supplied

Holidaymaker who prompted security scare on popular tourist
island reportedly hoped to bring the toy back for New Year’s Eve party.

 

A plane packed with tourists departing the holiday island of Bali
was forced to return to the terminal because a passenger had
wanted to bring a toy bomb on-board, Indonesian officials said.
The
Briton was questioned, and later cleared, for a day by airport security
officials and police on the island, which is on high alert for possible
Islamic terrorist attacks on Western and Russian tourists.
The
man, identified by local authorities as Davide Fogli, told officials
that he bought the item – featuring a timer attached to what looked like
sticks of dynamite – at a toy store. He reportedly intended to take it
to a New Year’s Eve party.
He declared the toy bomb to the first
line of screening officials at the airport and asked if he could bring
it on the flight, according to police.

The officials told him that the item was not allowed
on-board so he left it at the security point and proceeded to check-in
as normal with a female companion.
But when the report reached Trikora Harjo, the airport general manager, he ordered that Fogli should be questioned further.
“This was a very realistic toy and in the current climate, we wanted to know more about his plans,” said an official.
The
Qatar Airways flight bound for Doha had already taxied on to the tarmac
to prepare for take-off, before it was ordered to return to the
terminal and Fogli and his friend were escorted off the plane.
Trikora
said he took the decision to investigate further “in accordance with
the instructions of the Director General of Transportation”.
The
flight then left for Doha while the British tourist was questioned first
by airport security officials and then by police in the provincial
capital Denpasar on Monday.
Officials on Bali are on high alert
for possible terror plot during one of the busiest seasons for tourism.
More than 200 people, mainly Australian holidaymakers, were killed in a
2002 bomb attack by Islamic extremists on a nightclub.
Airport officials have stepped up security after a Russian passenger plane was blown up over the Sinai desert.
Although
Bali is predominantly Hindu, Indonesia is the world’s most populous
Muslim nation. Hundreds of Indonesians have travelled to Syria to fight
with Isis (Islamic State) and Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate,
and there are fears that a terror cell might be sent back to Indonesia
to commit atrocities.
Officers were sent to the toy-store where they found an item for sale identical to the one that Fogli was carrying.
The
couple was finally cleared and released from custody shortly before
midnight on Monday, more than 24 hours after they were hauled off the
plane.
“We are releasing them now,” said Reinhard Habonaran Nainggolan, the police chief.
“We
have found no indication of suspicious reasons, he just bought a toy.
But since airport authority filed a report, we had to do a follow up.”
Fogli,
who is a graphic designer, and his friend, an Italian lawyer, declined
to talk to media when they left the police station. According to his
British passport, he is aged 48 and was born in Turin.

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