Suspected Nigerian Terrorist Tries to Blow up US Passenger Jet

World | December 26, 2009, Saturday // 07:39| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Suspected Nigerian Terrorist Tries to Blow up US Passenger Jet

A Nigerian man has attempted a terrorist attack aboard a Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit Friday.

The man trying to blow up the plane is a 23-year-old Nigerian named Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, according to US counterterrorism officials cited by the Voice of America. His name is on a US intelligence watch list, but not on a no-fly list.

The Nigerian passenger tried to ignite an incendiary device aboard the plane as it began to descend for landing in Detroit. According to the LA Times, the would-be terrorist was subdued by passengers who also helped put out the fire that he started. None of the other 277 passengers was hurt.

As a result of the attempted terrorist attack, the man has suffered burns. The device he ignited was a mix of powder and liquid.

Citing an unnamed official, The Washington Post has reported that the would-be bomber managed to get the powder for his incendiary device aboard the plane by sticking it to his leg with a scotch tape. Then, he injected a liquid into the powder with a syringe aboard the plane which resulted in a fire.

The suspect is an engineering student at University College of London, according to ABC News and NBC News, who began his trip Thursday from Nigeria.

Peter King, a US Republican Congressman, who is on the Homeland Security Committee, is quoted as saying that the case raises serious concerns as it was not clear whether Mutallab underwent security screening in Amsterdam or merely changed planes there.

It is still uncertain whether the Nigerian would-be terrorist had ties to a terrorist organization or had attempted the attack on his own.

Despite earlier reports that he had claimed a connection to Al Qaeda, Mutallab denied any such link in later statements to FBI agents interrogating him, the anti-terrorism official said, as quoted by the LA Times.

The Northwest Airlines plane, an Airbus 330 with Delta markings, landed in Detroit about noon local time. (The two airlines merged in April 2008.)

US President Barack Obama, who is on a Christmas vacation in Hawaii with his family, has been notified of the incident. The White House said in a statement it is considered a terrorist attack.

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Tags: terrorist, terrorist attack, Northwest Airlines, Nigeria, Al Qaeda, plane
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