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Update: Suspect Charged in Attempted Attack on Airliner

Update 1 4:29 pm Eastern In a federal criminal complaint

Update 1 4:29 pm Eastern

In a federal criminal complaint, Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab has been officially charged with placing a destructive device on, and attempting to destroy the aircraft which he was aboard Friday.

The flight originated in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, headed for Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Abdulmatallab is accused of igniting an explosive device as the plane began its final decent into the Detroit airport.

Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch film maker, apparently intervened as Abdulmatallab attempted to ignite an explosive device which he brought aboard strapped to his leg, wrestling the suspected terrorist out of his seat and into the aisle where the device was extinguished.

According to The New York Times, an affidavit filed along with the criminal complaint details a preliminary FBI analysis which found that the device Abdulmatallab ignited contained the explosive PETN.

Security officials told The Times that there is no evidence that this incident was part of a coordinated attack involving other planes.

For more details about this incident, visit The New York Times website.


A man attempted to ignite an incendiary device aboard a Delta Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit Friday, an incident government officials are classifying as “an attempted act of terrorism,” according to an unnamed White House source quoted in various reports.

The attacker attempted to ignite the device but was quickly subdued by other passengers on the plane, according to the reports.

Federal officials identified the man as 23-year-old Nigerian Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The failed device is said to have been “fairly sophisticated,” by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the top Republican on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, who was briefed on the incident. King said the attacker has connections to known terrorist groups.

Passenger Melinda Dennis who was quoted by the Free Press, said she saw Abdulmutallab burn himself severely as he attempted to ignite the device, but that he remained “very calm and didn’t show any reaction to pain.”

Abdulmutallab used a syringe to mix unidentified chemicals, one liquid and one powder, igniting his pants and starting a small fire before passengers jumped on him, according to Federal officials.

The attack occured as the crew was preparing to land at the Detroit airport. There were 278 passengers and 11 crew onboard.

Abdulmutallab did not go through passport controls in the Netherlands, but instead transfered from another flight originating in a different country according to a Dutch military police spokesman quoted in a Reuters report.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said he would hold hearings on the incident in January.

“Any terrorist attempt on our citizens is extremely serious,” Rockefeller said.

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