A Nigerian is in security custody after being arrested for attempting to detonate explosives during a transatlantic flight from Holland to Detroit, Michigan in the USA.
Witnesses say the man strapped powdery explosives to his ankle, then tried to ignite them inside the plane. Other passengers saw him, then pounced on and restrained him – before taking him to a seat at the front of the plane. The plane’s pilot then radioed for security and emergency services to be ready on the ground. This was reminiscent of the manner in which the “shoe bomber” Richard Reid was similarly subdued by passengers after trying to detonate explosives he hid in his shoes during a transatlantic flight in 2001.
The man’s name is Farouk Abdul Mutallab, aged 23. He is said to be a Nigerian student at University College London, and the intelligence services apparently already had his name in connection with terrorist links.
You can see a photo of the suspect being arrested inside the plane’s cockpit by clicking here:
After being arrested, Mutallab claimed he received the explosives in Yemen and was told by al-Qaeda to detonate them.
None of the 278 passengers and 11 crew aboard were killed, although Mutallab and another passenger were treated for burns.
Nigerian newspapers are reporting that Mutallab’s father’s was the former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Dr. Umaru Abdul Mutallab. Dr Mutallab was born in Katsina – the home state of Nigeria’s President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. It also appears that Mutallab’s father was aware of his son’s extremist tendencies and reported him to the security forces:
Other news’ outlets coverage of the attempted bombing: