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Americas

Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up airliner

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-26

The US Justice Department announced on Saturday that it has charged Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with trying to blow up a plane going from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.

AFP - A 23-year-old Nigerian man was charged Saturday with trying to blow up a packed airplane as it descended toward Detroit on Christmas Day, US officials said.
  
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was charged with attempting to destroy the aircraft with a "high explosive" called PETN and with placing a destructive device on the plane, the Justice Department said in a statement.
  
"This alleged attack on a US airplane on Christmas Day shows that we must remain vigilant in the fight against terrorism at all times," said Attorney General Eric Holder.
  


"Had this alleged plot to destroy an airplane been successful, scores of innocent people would have been killed or injured.
  
"We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously, and we will use all measures available to our government to ensure that anyone responsible for this attempted attack is brought to justice," the statement read.
  
Passengers told investigators that Abdulmutallab spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom before returning to his seat and pulling a blanket over himself, the Justice Department said.
  
"Passengers then heard popping noises similar to firecrackers, smelled an odor, and some observed Abdulmutallab's pants leg and the wall of the airplane on fire," the Justice Department said.
  
"Passengers and crew then subdued Abdulmutallab and used blankets and fire extinguishers to put out the flames. Passengers reported that Abdulmutallab was calm and lucid throughout."
  
A preliminary FBI analysis found that the device contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, a high explosive. FBI agents also recovered what appear to be the remnants of a syringe believed to have been part of the device.

Date created : 2009-12-26

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