NNA - Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Judge Bassam Mawlawi, on Monday chaired an airport security meeting and affirmed that there were no acts of “sabotage or terrorism” behind the two recent incidents that the Qatari and Greek planes had been subjected to.
“I’ve met with the airport’s security apparatuses to study and discuss the reports that have been issued about the incidents that the Qatari and Greek planes had been subjected to respectively on January 8, 2022, and January 10, 2022,” Mawlawi said.
The Minister of Interior went on to recount the truth of what had happened, and said, “With regard to the Qatari plane, the simple fact is that its wheel had run over an item on the airport grounds; no shooting was heard, and the pilot never reported anything of the sort. Fact is, a small plant located on the airport grounds was run over by one of the plane’s tires. All the reports confirm this; it’s the plain truth. There is no activity that entails any form of sabotage or terrorism,” Mawlawi affirmed.
“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.”