A Northwest Airlines passenger arriving in Detroit from Amsterdam tried to ignite some sort of substance – or possibly ignited firecrackers – during final approach to the international airport in Michigan. The flight originated in Nigeria and that is where the passenger boarded the aircraft.
The system has gaping holes throughout, and I expect the holes will be exploited. Terrorists will strike within the borders of the United States at some point. It’s not if, it’s when. This is one clear reason we need to go fight on their turf.
The Airbus 330 declared an emergency during approach and requested assistance from airport the airport police and fire departments. From Freep.com, with my emphasis in bold.
A man suspected of planning to blow up a Delta Air Lines flight in Detroit could face charges as soon as Saturday according to an official familiar with the case.
The suspect is a Nigerian national who claims to have ties to al-Qaida.
It was unclear today why the man wanted to attack the flight arriving from Amsterdam.
The plane, an Airbus 330, landed about noon in Detroit, and was carrying 278 passengers on a flight from Amsterdam. There were no major injuries.
Many on board were unaware of what had occurred at the front of the plane — learning about the incident only after they had left the aircraft and were questioned by FBI agents.
Others were keenly aware, having a bird’s-eye view of the man, who was tackled by passengers shortly after he tried to light what many thought was a firecracker.
Unclear? At least this time the FBI did not declare the event as “not associated with terrorism” within minutes. Remember the reports immediately after Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s attack at Fort Hood?
I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate the passenger was a young Muslim male. Anyone want to bet a dollar?
Additional information from Sky News.
The White House says an incident involving a small explosion on an airliner was an attempted act of terrorism.
A U.S. intelligence official said the passenger who ignited a “powdery substance” on the Delta Airlines flight was trying to blow up the plane.
The flight was arriving at Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport when the incident took place.
The suspect, who suffered third-degree burns, reportedly told federal investigators that he was directed by al Qaeda.
A U.S. intelligence official said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. It failed when the passenger tried to detonate it.
Update: Multiple reports are noting the passenger was on a terrorist watch list and on the official no-fly list. But some others – including this ABC News report – indicates he was not on the no-fly list.
Federal officials and police are interviewing a Nigerian man, who allegedly tried to “explode” a powdery substance aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, injuring himself and two other passengers, law enforcement officials said.
The man said he was directed by al Qaeda to explode a small device in flight, over U.S. soil, ABC News has learned. Authorities have no corroboration of that information, and the credibility of the suspect’s statements are being questioned, officials said.
The suspect was identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who according to federal documents is an engineering student at University College of London.
He was flying from Nigeria to the United States for a religious ceremony, according to his entry visa, which was issued June 16, 2008 and was good until June 12, 2010.
The government had no immediate plans after the incident to raise the threat level, a federal government source said. The threat level has been at “orange” since 2006.
The suspect had been in a law enforcement-intelligence database but was not on the government’s no-fly list, according to a law enforcement official.
“The subject is claiming to have extremist affiliation and that the device was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used,” a federal situational awareness bulletin stated.
- Was he or was he not on the no-fly list?
- Does the United States normally grant entry visas for “religious ceremonies” anytime during a two year period?
- Was there an air marshal on the flight?
More from an interview with Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)…
“He is a 23 year old Nigerian who is also – it’s been confirmed to me – while he was not on a no fly list, his name was on a list for having terrorist connections,” King said during an interview Christmas evening on CNN.
Wait – how could this guy have significant terrorist connections and not be on the no-fly list? There have been all sorts of people put on those lists including 8 year old kids for goodness sakes.