Detroit airliner incident ‘was failed bomb attack’

BBC News
25 December 2009

An incident on an airliner arriving in the US city of Detroit from Amsterdam in the Netherlands was a failed bomb attack, senior US officials say.

Sources say a man injured himself trying to ignite an explosive device on the jet with 278 passengers on board but nobody else was seriously hurt.

In custody, the suspect said he had been acting on behalf of al-Qaeda, a police source told AP news agency.

President Barack Obama has ordered increased security for air travel.

The White House spokesman Bill Burton said the president was monitoring the situation.

US and Dutch media report that the suspect is a Nigerian national studying in London.

Northwest Airlines Flight 253 had been coming in to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Friday afternoon when the incident occurred.
Reports quote officials as saying the suspect seems to have tried to ignite some kind of incendiary device.

A passenger said the man had been severely burned on one leg, and a fire extinguisher was used at one point.

Another passenger, Syed Jafri, told AP he had been seated three rows behind the suspect and had seen a glow and noticed a smoke smell.

Then, he said, “a young man behind me jumped on him”.

“Next thing you know, there was a lot of panic,” Mr Jafri added.

As the suspect was being tackled, he was reportedly shouting and a passenger said she had heard the word “Afghanistan”.

The article continues at BBC News.

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