PARIS – Explosives of the same type as found on alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid were discovered on a Moroccan jet after passengers left the flight at an airport in eastern France, authorities said Thursday.
Officials said there was enough explosive material to blow up a plane.
There was no detonator attached to the 3 ounces of explosives discovered in the passenger section of a Royal Air Maroc airplane on Wednesday night after it landed at the Metz-Nancy-Lorraine airport, according to police.
Judicial sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the explosive material as pentrite and said it was the same as the substance Reid, a British citizen, allegedly tried to detonate on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami on Dec. 22.
The airline refused immediate comment on the case.
The explosives found Wednesday were wrapped in aluminum foil, police said, indicating it might have been in transit for delivery. The Boeing 737 originated in Marrakech.
Judicial sources said they had been unable to find a fuse mechanism needed for detonation.
The explosives were found between armrests by dogs from the customs service as they performed a routine search of the plane. Anti-terrorism police were investigating the find, along with the counterintelligence agency known as the DST.
Pentrite is found in the plastic explosive Semtex, which was used in the bomb attack on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 that killed 270 people.
Reid is charged with attempting to blow up the American Airlines flight with explosives hidden in his shoes. Passengers and crew members restrained him after he allegedly tried to light a fuse. The flight was diverted to Boston.