Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Detroit terror attack: 'There are many more like me,' bomber warns that others will bring down airplanes over U.S. cities.

Detroit terror attack: 'There are many more like me,' bomber warns that others will bring down airplanes over U.S. cities.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, had been banned from entering the UK after he applied for a student visa in May to study at a bogus college, Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, has confirmed.

Then, six weeks ago, his family in Nigeria contacted US security officials to express “concerns” that he had become radicalised after he “disappeared” to the al-Qaeda stronghold of Yemen, resulting in him being put on a US anti-terror database.

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But because the two countries failed to share their intelligence, neither was aware of the full picture about Abdulmutallab, who hid a potentially devastating explosive device under his clothes and tried to detonate it as an Airbus with 289 people on board approached Detroit on Christmas Day.

Abdulmutallab has given a defiant warning to US investigators, telling them: “There are more just like me who will strike soon.”

Dozens of Islamic militants from Britain are thought to have travelled to Yemen in recent months, where the security services fear they are being trained by al-Qaeda bomb-makers to launch further attacks against Western targets.

Last night a group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the attempted suicide bombing on Northwest Airlines flight 253.

In a separate statement, AQAP had earlier vowed revenge for military operations carried out by the Yemeni government earlier this month, which were backed by the US, in which the group claims 50 people died. It said: “We will not let Muslim women and children’s blood be spilled without taking revenge.”

Abdulmutallab, the privately-educated son of one of Nigeria’s most prominent bankers, managed to smuggle his bomb aboard the aircraft by strapping a condom filled with the high explosive PETN to the inside of his leg and then attempting to detonate it using a syringe filled with a liquid chemical. The PETN powder caught fire but did not explode, sparing the lives of all those on board.

Investigators are worried that AQAP has developed what is effectively an “undetectable bomb” involving PETN that can only be found by using expensive and intrusive full body scanners at airports, with huge implications for airport security, more from this source...........