Nigerian suspect in US plane explosion may be charged Saturday

December 26th, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Dec 26 (IANS) The Nigerian man who allegedly set off a small explosion on board a Northwest Airlines flight near Detroit could face charges later Saturday, according to an official familiar with the case.
The suspect, identified by a member of Congress as Abdul Mudallad, is a Nigerian national who claims to have ties to Al Qaeda, reports Detroit’s Free Press Journal.

However, quoting a federal official, the Washington Post identified the suspect as 23-year-old Abdul Farouk Abdulmutalla. ABC News and NBC News reported that he attends University College of London, where he studied engineering.

The Nigerian passenger allegedly ignited a small explosive device on the flight from Amsterdam shortly before landing.

The man was quickly subdued, according to an airline spokesperson, and the plane landed safely in Detroit, Michigan around noon Friday, with several of the 278 passengers sustaining minor injuries in the incident.

The FBI is investigating the incident and President Barack Obama, celebrating Christmas in Hawaii, ordered that all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel.

Department of Homeland Security said passengers “may notice additional screening measures, put into place to ensure the safety of the travelling public on domestic and international flights”.

The suspect said the explosive device “was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used”, CNN said, citing a federal security bulletin.

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