Abdul Farouk Umar Mutallab



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Abdul Farouk Umar Mutallab

Abdul Farouk Umar Mutallab

Alhaji Umaru Mutallab

Abdul Farouk Umar Muttalab is the son of former First Bank PLC chairman Umaru Mutallab and was a student at University College London, where he was enrolled in the department of mechanical engineering from September 2005 to June 2008. Muttalab apparently visited Yemen prior to returning to Nigeria in December 2009.

From Nigeria, he travelled to Amsterdam, where he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route to Detroit, Michigan, USA on Christmas Day.

Passengers reported smelling smoke and saw that something in his lap was on fire. Investigators determined that Abdulfarouk Umar Mutallab was attempting to ignite an explosive device in an apparent attempt to destroy the plane. Fellow passenger Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch citizen, jumped on Abdulmutallab, and he and other passengers subdued him as flight attendants used fire extinguishers to douse the flames. At this point, Abdulmutallab was taken toward the front of the airplane cabin, and was seen to have lost his pants due to the fire, and had burns on his legs.

Abdulfarouk Umar Muttalab’s father reportedly informed U.S. authorities of his son’s extreme religious views. The Mutallab family is Muslim.

After entering custody, Mutallab told authorities he had an extremist affiliation, and said he was directed by al-Qaeda. He said that the device was obtained in Yemen, along with instructions from al-Qaeda as to how to use it. Authorities have not yet confirmed his statements.

A counterterrorism official told The New York Times that his claim "may have been aspirational". The motive for the attack was unclear. However, the attack was near the date of the eighth anniversary of the attempt of an al-Qaida member to blow up a plane using explosives hidden in his shoe. The Taliban also released a video of captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl on the day of the attack. The Yemeni branch of al-Qaida recently came under attack by the Yemeni government with aid from the U.S.

The senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Pete Hoekstra, said officials in the Obama administration and officials with law enforcement information access told him the suspect may have had contact with Anwar al-Awlaki; al-Awlaki is the former imam linked to al-Qaida, three of the 9/11 bombers, and Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected Fort Hood shooter, among others.[12] Hoekstra said: “The question we'll have to raise is was this imam in Yemen influential enough to get some people to attack the US again." Hoekstra said in an interview, “The suspicion is also that” the suspect “had contact with al-Awlaki. The belief is this is a stronger connection with al-Awlaki” than Hasan had. In addition, an attack of this type (injecting chemicals into a substance to provoke a chemical explosion) has not been used in previous terrorist plots, and it is possible that the attempt was a test to see if such materials could pass through screening and how much damage the resulting blast would cause.

The Justice Department on December 26, charged Mutallab with willfully attempted to destroy or wreck an aircraft; and that he placed a destructive device in the plane.

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman read the charges to Mutallab in a conference room at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the suspect was taken for treatment of the burns suffered in the attempted plane explosion. According to the affidavit against Mutallab filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, an early analysis of his explosive device showed that it contained PETN, a high explosive also known as pentaerythritol, which is the same explosive material convicted used by "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid used when he attempted to destroy a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001 with explosives hidden in his shoes.

 Links and Resources:

United States v. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab--scanned copy of the affidavit against Abdul Muttalab

Nigerian man charged in Christmas airliner attack--Atlanta Constitution, Dec. 27, 2009

Umaru Mutallab's Son Identified as Delta Airline Attempted Bomber: Father reported him to US Authorities six months ago--This Day Online: African Views on Global News, Dec. 26, 2009

Chairman's Statement: First Bank of Nigeria

 A Very Bourgeois Would-Be Bomber--The Atlantic, Dec. 26, 2009

'Hero' Tells How He Foiled Jet Bomb Plot --SkyNews, Dec. 26, 2009

Restrictions Rise After Terrorism Attempt--New York Times, Dec. 26, 2009

Jet passengers overpowered would-be bomber--LA Times, Dec. 25, 2009

Statement by Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Sara Kuban--Dept. of Homeland Security Press Release, Dec. 25, 2009

Bomb Attempt on U.S.-Bound Flight : Man on Flight to Detroit Claims al Qaeda Ties; Obama Tightens Security--WSJ, December 25, 2009

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Name: Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab

Born: December 22, 1986

Nationality: Nigerian

Education: Degree in mechanical engineering , University College London

Besty Known For: Attempted attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, December 25, 2009

Parent: Umaru Mutallab (father)

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