NEW: Somali authorities identify the man suspected of carrying an explosive onto a Somali airliner
The explosion rocked Daallo Airlines Flight 3159 soon after it took off from Mogadishu
Sources say a laptop computer may have concealed a bomb that blew a hole in the side of the jet
The man sucked out of a Somali airliner after an inflight explosion has been identified as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, an elderly Somali national, Somalia officials said Friday.
Investigators suspect he carried a laptop computer with a bomb concealed onto the plane, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The source said Borleh apparently knew precisely where to sit and how to place the device to maximize damage. The source said, given the placement, the blast likely would have set off a catastrophic secondary explosion in the fuel tank had the aircraft reached cruising altitude.
Investigators believe the attack was orchestrated by Al-Shabaab, although they are not certain Borleh was a direct member of the group, according to the source. No group immediately claimed responsibility.
The bomb contained a military grade of the explosive TNT, according to the source, citing an initial analysis of residue recovered from the aircraft.
The blast happened Tuesday on Daallo Airlines Flight 3159 after it set off above East Africa.
Two people were injured before the pilot landed the Airbus A321-111 safely, a passenger said. Somali authorities later discovered a body near Mogadishu they believe fell from plane.
Pictures from the ground showed a hole in one side of the airliner, just above its wing and slightly smaller than one of its doors.
An airport official estimated the Daallo plane was between 12,000 and 14,000 feet high when the blast occurred not long after it took off from Mogadishu International Airport.
The pilot then flew the plane, which had originated in Jeddah on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, back to the Somali capital.
Al-Shabaab is an al Qaeda affiliate, though some of its factions have declared loyalty to ISIS. It has been responsible for some of the deadliest violence in recent years in Somalia and surrounding nations, including Kenya and Uganda.
At least 20 people have been arrested in connection with the blast aboard the plane, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said.
CNN’s Evan Perez and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.