Nigerian banker Umaru Mutallab says airline bomber may be his son
Alhaji Umarum Mutallab, former Nigeria First Bank chairman, ex-minister, told police Saturday, Dec. 26, that the 23-year old Nigerian who tried and failed to blow up the Amsterdam-Detroit Northwest Flight 253 Friday, Dec. 25, is his son. According to family members, he had been worried by his son’s extremist religious views and six months ago reported his activities to the US embassy in Lagos. Devastated by the news of the attempted bombing, he said he was surprised his son had been given a US visa.
The family confirmed that he had attended University College London to study engineering and later relocated to Egypt and then Dubai.
The Federal Government of Nigeria expressed its dismay at the attempted terrorist attack on a US airline and stated its abhorrence of all forms of terrorism. The Vice President has ordered a full investigation of the incident in full cooperation with the American authorities.
The London West End mansion apartment searched by UK police now turns out to be the family residence in London. London College University confirmed that a student named Umar Abdulmutallab was enrolled from 2005 to 2008.
Security experts said Abdulmutallab was armed with a sophisticated device consisting of liquid chemicals in a plastic syringe and a bag of explosive power, but only managed to cause a small fire before he was subdued by a passenger and the cabin crew.
The Dutch secret service is investigating how the Nigerian bomber’s syringe of chemicals managed to elude Schiphol airport checks when he boarded the Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Security experts say the plastic coating of the syringe may have prevented detection unless the bomber had been thoroughly frisked or exposed to sniffer dogs.
Security has been tightened stringently for US, British and Dutch airports and air traffic in case of a follow-up on the Nigerian student’s failed attack.
Passengers flying to the US from anywhere in the world have been restricted to one piece of hand luggage each under revised security measures at US airports. They have been warned of delays on arrival.
Counter-terror measures were stepped up at British airports and flights already bogged down by bad weather further delayed by subjecting all passengers to separate searches.
For a full report and analysis of the episode click HERE