Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day Terrorism Attempt Foiled

How I would have loved to have been on this plane, when a Nigerian Islamic terrorist was beaten to a pulp by angry decent citizens.

O, to have one gotten one good kick in ...

HAT TIP: BCF

* Man tries to ignite explosive as plane nears Detroit

* Suspect, 23-year-old Nigerian, is injured, detained

* Explosive device was 'fairly sophisticated' -Rep. King

(Adds passenger quotes, other details)

Kevin Krolicki

DETROIT, Dec 25 (Reuters) - A Nigerian man linked to al Qaeda tried to set off an explosive device aboard a U.S. passenger plane as it approached Detroit on Friday, but was overpowered by passengers and crew and the aircraft landed safely, U.S. officials said.

The suspect suffered third-degree burns and was taken into custody. The passengers, two of whom suffered minor injuries, disembarked safely from the Delta Air Lines plane, which had departed from Amsterdam.

"We believe this was an attempted act of terrorism," a White House official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

President Barack Obama is on vacation in Hawaii and was monitoring the situation.

Representative Peter King, who sits on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, said the explosive device was "fairly sophisticated," and the suspect was Abdul Mudallad, a 23-year-old Nigerian.

"When it did go off, he himself was seriously injured. He has third degree burns. ... It appears to be different from what we've encountered before," King told Fox News.

Speaking to CNN, King, a New York Republican, said Mudallad "did appear in a database as far as having a terrorist connection."

"My understanding is ... that he does have al Qaeda connections, certainly extremist terrorist connections, and his name popped up pretty quickly" in a search of intelligence data bases, King said.

Mudallad was not on a "no-fly" list but his name was in a database indicating "a significant terrorist connection," King said.

The aircraft was moved to a remote area at Detroit's airport where all baggage was being rescreened, said the Transportation Security Administration.

"He was severely burned. His entire leg was burned. They required a fire extinguisher as well as water to put it out," passenger Melinda Dennis told NBC News.

"You could smell the smoke when we landed. You could smell the scent of something being burned when we landed."

'TERRIFYING'

Another passenger, Richelle Keepman, said the incident was "terrifying."

"I thought -- I think we all thought we weren't going to land, we weren't going to make it," Keepman told NBC.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Wall Street Journal said Mudallad had told investigators al Qaeda operatives in Yemen had given him the device and instructions on how to detonate it.

But NBC, citing anti-terrorism officials, said Mudallad "claims to have been acting on his own."

The aircraft, Northwest Airlines flight 253, was an Airbus 330 carrying 278 passengers. Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) has taken over Northwest.

King said the suspect started his journey in Nigeria.

"How sophisticated he was, I don't know," King said. "But again, it was a fairly sophisticated device. I would say we dropped the ball on this one."

"Passengers may notice additional screening measures put into place to ensure the safety of the traveling public on domestic and international flights," the Department of Homeland Security said a statement.

King said there was an investigation into whether the incident may have been part of a larger plot. There is a "world-wide alert to make sure this is not part of a larger overall scheme," he said.

The attempt appeared similar to one eight years ago when a British-born man, Richard Reid, tried but failed to blow up a trans-Atlantic jumbo jet by lighting explosives stuffed into his shoes. Reid, a follower of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison.

It also is the latest in a string of terrorism-related plots in the United States over the past few months, including one in which an Afghan-born man was arrested in September on charges he planned to set off bombs in the United States.

How did he get through security? Isn't this the same security we all endure so scum like this can be caught?

No doubt his Muslim buddies at Amsterdam airport helped get this device on board.

3 Opinion(s):

WHITEADDER said...

Great that nobody died. Lets rather wait a bit to see what transpires. They might just find his unburnt passport on his burnt leg ...

Thorum said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Keep up the good work comrades!!

Exzanian said...

President Barack Obama is on vacation in Hawaii and was monitoring the situation...
Well, at least he was not at a primary school...Luckily for him...