Sunday, December 27, 2009

Arrest of Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab Raises Serious Questions Over Delta Airline Incident in Detroit

Arrest of Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab Raises Serious Questions Over Airplane Attack

PANW Editor's Note: On December 25 the United States authorities arrested a 23-year-old Nigerian Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab aboard a Delta Airline flight from Amsterdam that landed in Detroit. News reports emanating from the U.S. indicate that it was an attempted terrorist attack that resulted in the fire and that Abdul Mutallab was either connected with Al-Qaida or sympathetic to its aims.

However, this incident raises a number of serious questions about the character of the attack. First of all why was Abdul Mutallab granted a multiple-entry visa into the United States in June 2008? In November, his father, Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, 70, a prominent and wealthy Nigerian banker who recently retired as Chairman of the First Bank Plc of Nigeria, warned the American embassy in Nigeria about concerns related to his son's behaviour. The senior Mutallab also served as Minister of Economic Development and Reconstruction during the mid-1970s in the Federal Nigerian Government that was under military rule at the time.

Consequently, why was Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab allowed to maintain his U.S. visa status and board a plane bound for the United States? There have been reports that he had spent time in the United Arab Emirates and Yemen and implying that this may indicate a connection with Al-Qaida. However, there has been no specific evidence that he has links with Islamic organizations including Al-Qaida.

In addition, corporate media reports claim that the substances Mutallab had and attempted to ignite could have done substantial damage to the aircraft. This allegation is largely unsubstantiated and raises further questions about the nature of the incident. If these chemicals could have never caused any real damage to the aircraft and in fact the suspect was the only person seriously injured, then this may reveal that the incident is something other than what is being widely reported by media outlets in the U.S. and internationally.

Although U.S. intelligence and media spokespersons have stated that Yemen is a base for Al-Qaida, they do not make the claim that it is also major field of operations for the American Central Intelligence Agency which is working closely with the Yemeni government to fight the Islamic organizations that are in a military struggle with the government in this country that is divided politically and regionally.

In an Associated Press report on December 25 it stated that "Yemen's military hit suspected al-Qaida hideouts for the second time in a week, killing at least 30 militants in a remote area of the country--a fragmented, unstable nation the U.S. fears could turn into an Afghanistan-like refuge for the terrorist network.

"The strikes on Thursday, which were carried out with U.S. and Saudi intelligence help, hit a gathering of top leaders and other targets in a remote mountain valley, officials said. The newly aggressive Yemeni campaign against al-Qaida is being boosted by a dose of American aid, a reflection of Washington's concerns about al-Qaida's presence in a highly strategic location on the border with oil-rich ally Saudi Arabia." (AP, December 25)

This same AP article goes on to point out that "The Pentagon recently confirmed it has poured nearly $70 million in military aid into Yemen this year--compared with none in 2008. The U.S. military has boosted its counterterrorism training for Yemeni forces and is providing more intelligence, according to U.S. officials and analysts. The result appears to be a sharp escalation in Yemen's campaign against al-Qaida, which previously amounted to scattered raids against militants, mixed with tolerance of some fighters who made vague promises they would avoid terrorist activity."

Therefore, it is quite obvious that Yemen is a major target of U.S. military and intelligence activity. Corporate media reports continue to emphasize what it calls the unstable character of Yemen and labeling the country a "failed state", as it did with Afghanistan during the invasion of 2001.

Also Nigeria has been the scene of unrest in the North several months ago where the military and police killed several hundred people in a crackdown against an Islamic group, Boko Haram, where the leader of this group was killed by the police extra-judiciously. There is also a flare up in fighting in the Niger Delta region between groups fighting the western-based oil firms that dominate the area and the federal government's joint terrorism task force.

In a just as significant recent development, several western-based multi-national oil firms are threatening to sabotage the Nigerian economy because of their displeasure with a deal that was agreed upon with the People's Republic of China involving a $50 billion petroleum revenue generation project related to the export of oil to China. Shell is offering its operations for sale which will inevitably undermine the oil industry in Nigeria, which no longer is the dominant producer on oil on the continent.

These developments cannot be separated from the recent escalation of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Obama announced at West Point military academy on December 1 that his administration would be sending another 30,000 occupation troops into Afghanistan. This act is being carried out despite the overwhelming opposition to the escalation of the Afghan war by people inside the United States.

In Detroit, the FBI assassinated an African-American Imam on October 28. The investigation into the incident is being obstructed on several levels including the refusal of authorities to release the autopsy of the slain Islamic leader, Imam Luqman Ameen Abudllah, who had worked with the poor for decades on the city's west side. Imam Abdullah's assassination has drawn protests and calls for an independent investigation into his assassination by agents of the federal government.

Could Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab be a pawn in a possible scenario of international intelligence intrigue controlled and manipulated by the United States? Such threats of terrorism have been used in the past to deflect the attention of the American people away from the worsening economic and political crisis facing the country. Since 2001 the American people have been subjected to reports of one plot and conspiracy after another. During the entire decade trillions of dollars have been literally stolen from the people of the United States through real estate, insurance and bank fraud schemes which the taxpayers have absorbed. Unemployment rates are the highest since the Great Depression and there will be a new upsurge in home foreclosures and evictions during 2010.

If Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab was in contact with people he may have thought were al-Qaida operatives but were in fact CIA agents posing as Islamic resistance leaders, he could have been brainwashed and convinced to embark upon such a futile effort with the United States intelligence personnel knowing that these chemicals would, in all likelihood, only injure the suspect.

The incident of course will be used to intensify security practices in airports and throughout American society. It can also be utilized in attempts to justify and sway public opinion towards supporting the wars of occupation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and the extension of these imperialist efforts into Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and Yemen located in the Arabian Peninsula.

It is amazing that the Obama administration has said nothing about the incident in Detroit. Over the next few days more information will be revealed surrounding these events. One thing is certain and that is the United States government and ruling class has nothing to offer the people other than war, intensified domestic security and economic austerity. If they can bombard the airwaves with threats of terrorism, it will block any real discussion about the economic crisis in the corporate-controlled media that is heavily biased towards the Pentagon and Wall Street. The question of security will take priority over the economic crisis which has caused the unemployment of 34 million people, the foreclosures of millions of homes, the closing of hundreds of schools and the forcing of tens of thousands of university students away from their studies due to the monumental escalation of fees.

Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Faruk: Profile of a rebellious son

Written by Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Nigerian Sunday Trust
Sunday, 27 December 2009 00:32

Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab is the son of retired First Bank chief, Dr Umaru Abdulmutallab, who hails from Katsina State. Though information on the would- be bomber is still sketchy, Sunday Trust gathered that he was born in 1986. He spent most of his formative years outside Nigeria and can best be described as British-educated.

He had his secondary education at British School of Lome, Togo, a school established 25 years ago to cater for the needs of British expatriates in the West African country. The school currently has students from about 37 different countries and caters for students between ages 3-18. While there, Abdul Mutallab became known for his radical views.

After graduation, he relocated to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. His radical tendencies took another dimension and became increasingly disturbing to his parents who tried to call him to order, according to family sources. He was admitted into the University College, London in 2005 as a student of Mechanical engineering, a programme that would have ended June, 2008.

His father, Dr Umaru Abdulmutallab had reported his son as a security threat to both US and Nigerian security agencies several months ago and the US had him on a security list though he was not considered a serious risk and was not placed on a ‘no flight list.’

Early reports have linked him to Alqaeda but US security agents have cautioned against this claims, saying though he has terrorist tendencies, he is not known to be affiliated to any terror group.

Abdulmutallab is from a very rich, polygamous family. His father, recently retired as Chairman of First Bank , one of the country’s biggest banks and is currently heading the soon-to-take-off Jaiz Bank.

It has not been determined where or how Abdulmutallib picked up his extremist views, it is known that he has spent more years outside Nigeria than in it. He admitted being trained for a month as a suicide bomber in Yemen. Details about him remain sketchy as all websites or blogs with information about him have been blocked. Already, some sites that contained his image have been rigged with virus by unknown parties.

His last known address is a four million pounds house in Central London, where Metropolitan Police have been conducting investigations.


Mutallab, an accomplished banker

Written by Idris Ahmed
Sunday Daily Trust
Sunday, 27 December 2009 00:28

Veteran Chairman of the Board of First Bank Plc Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab formally retired from the position on December 13, 2009 after serving on the Board for thirteen years.

His voluntary retirement was announced at the Board meeting of the bank in Lagos.

He clocked the age of 70 years on December 15. He was born in 1939. First Bank was yet to announce a successor.

Mutallab was appointed to the Board of First Bank in 1996 and became its Chairman in 1999. He attended Barewa College, Zaria, Achimota College, Accra, Ghana and the South West London College, London.

He started his working career in 1965 as a Management Accountant with Fuller Jenks Beecroft & Co in London.

He also served as Chief Accountant/Acting General Manager, Defence Industries Corporation in Kaduna. He was also the Financial Controller of the company.

He rose to become the General Manager, New Nigeria Development Company Limited (NNDC) from 1968 to 1975. In 1975, he was appointed as Federal Commissioner (i.e. Minister) for Economic Development & Reconstruction and was re-assigned to the Federal Ministry of Cooperatives & Supply in 1976.

He was a member, Federal Executive Council from 1976 to 1978. He left to serve as Executive Vice Chairman/Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA) up till 1988.

Mutallab is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered and Certified Accountants (FCCA), Fellow Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), Fellow Institute of the International Bankers Association of the United States (FIBA) and Fellow Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

He holds the Nigeria National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and the Italian National Honour of Commander of the Order of Merit. He was awarded a Honourary Doctorate Degree by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Mutallab also served on the boards of several companies such as Arewa Textiles Limited, NEPA, NACB, NCC, Nigeria Agip Oil, and the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria [CCNN].

He is currently Chairman of several companies, including Impresit Bakolori Plc, Incar Nigeria Plc and Spring Waters Nigeria Limited (SWAN). He is also Chairman, Business Support Group of the Vision 202020.


Security agencies in London search Abdul Mutallab’s family house

Written by Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Nigerian Sunday Trust
Sunday, 27 December 2009 00:18

Police in central London yesterday cordoned off Mansfield Street in London’s highbrow Maryelbone district to search the residence of suspected bomber, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab.

He was reported to have lived in a plush basement flat belonging to his family. It has not be ascertained what the police are looking for but Sunday Trust gathered that a yet to be named brother of the suspect, who was also in the flat at the time was quizzed by the UK’s counterterrorism agents and metropolitan police for some time. He was however allowed to leave the residence after cooperating with authorities. He is now lodged in a hotel.

Britain has taken the investigations seriously and the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said, “The security of the public must always be our primary concern.” Adding that Britain would take “Whatever action was necessary” to protect passengers.

Officers clad in forensic suits have been combing the building. Though it is not known when Abdul Mutallab was last at the flat, it is believed investigators are looking for contacts and other evidence that may help in the case.

The upscale building is located in the heart of London’s embassy district and flats in the area were reportedly sold for between 2.5 and 4 million pounds.

Meanwhile, authorities in Yemen said they have begun investigations into reports that Abdul Mutallab was trained in the country and acquired the device he had wanted to detonate in the US plane as well as instruction on how and when to detonate it. A government source in the country said, “If and when the would-be bomber’s alleged link to Yemen is officially identified, authorities will take immediate action.”

Yemen has been described by the United States as an “important partner” in the fight against terror since the September 11, 2001 attacks.


BREAKING NEWS: Umaru Mutallab's Son Identified as Delta Airline Attempted Bomber

Father reported him to US Authorities six months ago

By Yusuph Olaniyonu, 12.26.2009
Nigerian ThisDay

Goodluck orders investigation

The young man, who yesterday night attempted to ignite an explosive device aboard a Delta Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan in the United States has been identified as Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old son of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, former First Bank chairman. Mutallab, a former minister and prominent banker recently retired from the Bank's board.

The older Mutallab, as at the time of filing this report, had just left his Katsina hometown for Abuja to speak with security agencies, family sources say. According to the family members, Mutallab has been uncomfortable with the boy's extreme religious views and had six months ago reported his activities to United States' Embassy, Abuja and Nigerian security agencies.

The older Mutallab was said to be devastated on hearing the news of Abdul Farouk's attempted bombing and arrest. A source close to him said he was surprised that after his reports to the US authorities, the young man was allowed to travel to the United States.

The family home of the Mutallabs in Central London, is currently being searched by men of the Metropolitan Police.

THISDAY checks reveal that the suspect, Abdulfarouk Umar Muttalab who is an engineering student at the University College, London had been noted for his extreme views on religion since his secondary school days at the British International School, Lome, Togo.

At the secondary school, he was known for preaching about Islam to his school mates and he was popularly called “Alfa”, a local coinage for Islamic scholar. After his secondary school, the suspect went to University College London to study engineering and later relocated to Egypt, and then Dubai. While in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, he declared to his family members that he did not want to have anything to do with any of them again.

His father, Muttalab is a regular visitor to the US where he visits for medical check-up and holidays. He is expected to issue a statement later today.

Muttalab is married to an Arab of Yemeni-descent. However, THISDAY could not confirm at the time of filing this report if the woman is the mother of the suspect now receiving treatment in Ann Harbor Hospital, Detroit, for burns suffered while he was trying to detonate the explosive device in the plane.

Meanwhile, Prof. Dora Akunyili, minister of information and communications, has issued the following statement: " Federal Government of Nigeria received with dismay the news of an attempted terrorist attack on a US airline. We state very clearly that as a nation, we abhor all forms of terrorism. The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has directed Nigerian security agencies to commence full investigation of the incident. While steps are being taken to verify the identity of the alleged suspect and his motives, our security agencies will cooperate fully with the American authorities in the on-going investigations. Nigerian government will be providing updates as more information becomes available."

Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, had caused panic when he tried to detonate some explosive device strapped to his leg on Christmas Day while the US airliner was about to land at Detroit Metro Airport with 278 people on board.

Abdulmutallab was overpowered by passengers after the failure of the device to ignite properly. He is currently being questioned by the FBI, according to a senior US official. A passenger, identified as Jasper Schuringa, told CNN that with the aid of the cabin crew, he helped subdue and isolate Abdulmutallab.

Agency reports quoted the US federal law enforcement and airline security agencies as saying Abdulmutallab was taken into custody and is being treated for second- and third-degree burns on his thighs. Reports say the remains of the device the suspect detonated have been sent to an FBI explosives laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis.

Even with the initial official impression that the suspect was acting alone and did not have any formal connections to organised terrorist organisations, there are reports that he was indeed a hard-core, trained al-Qaeda operative. Abdulmutallab was quoted in a US federal security bulletin to have admitted having extremist ties and said the explosive device "was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used".

A Statement from Representative Peter King of New York, the senior Republican on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, branded the explosive device as "fairly sophisticated". "(The device) appears to be different from what we've encountered before," Mr King told Fox News. "My understanding also is that while (the suspect) is not on a watch list, he definitely has terror connections.

"There is a terrorist nexus leading towards al-Qaeda involving this assailant. When it did go off he himself was seriously injured, my understanding is he has third-degree burns. This could have been catastrophic."

Abdulmutallab flew into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on a KLM flight from Lagos and is not believed to be on any "no fly" list. This is despite his name appearing in a US database of people with suspect connections. An administration official also said he did not undergo secondary security screening in Amsterdam. It was from here he transferred to Northwest Airlines - which is undergoing a merger with Delta Airlines - for the nine-hour flight to Detroit in an Airbus A330-330.

US President Barack Obama, who was holidaying in Hawaii, acting on briefing on the incident, instructed in a subsequent discussion with security advisers "that all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel".

Direct fallout of this incident is more rigorous security checks by airlines. A spokesperson for BAA said British passengers travelling to the US should expect their airline to carry out additional security checks prior to boarding.

"To support this important process, which will take time, we would advise passengers to leave more time to check in and limit the amount of baggage being taken on board the aircraft," she added.
"If in any doubt, please contact the relevant airline for further information."

A Department of Homeland Security statement on Friday told air passengers that they "may notice additional screening measures put into place to ensure the safety of the travelling [sic] public on domestic and international flights."


Terrorist suspect is my Son, Mutallab …. as FG orders probe

Our Reporter with agency reports
Nigerian Vanguard

ABUJA—A renowned Nigerian ex-banker, Umaru Mutallab, on Saturday admitted that the man arrested, Mallam Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, over a botched attempt to blow up a US airliner on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit is his son.

According to him: “I have been receiving telephone calls from all over the world about my child who has been arrested for an alleged attempt to bomb a plane,” Mutallab said on his way to Abuja where he has been summoned by security agents.

“I am really disturbed. I would not want to say anything at the moment until I put myself together. I will address a press conference on the issue on Monday . I have been summoned by the Nigerian security and I am on my way to Abuja to answer the call,” he said.

He said he just left his town, Funtua, Katsina State for Abuja.

FG orders full probe

Meanwhile, the Federal Government weekend directed the relevant security agencies in Nigeria to undertake full investigation into the alleged attempt by a Nigerian, Mallam Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to bomb a Northwest Airlines Boeing 330 plane in Detroit, USA, on Christmas day, just as the suspect’s father was said to be helping the security agencies in their investigation as he feared his son was the suspect.

Alhaji Umaru Mutallab former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria told The Associated Press that his son Umar Farouk was a one-time university student in London who had left Britain to travel abroad. He said his son hadn’t lived in London “for some time” but he wasn’t sure exactly where he went to.

Alhaji Mutallab said, “I believe he might have been to Yemen, but we are investigating to determine that,” adding that he would provide more details later as he learned more from the authorities.

The Federal Government in its reaction condemned the attempted bombing, saying it has opened its own investigation into the suspect and promised to cooperate fully with the United States authorities on the issue.

A statement issued by the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili on behalf of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja weekend, said the security agencies would unravel the identity of the suspect and his motives.

The statement said: “The Federal Government received with dismay the news of an attempted terrorist attack on a US airline. We state very clearly that as a nation, we abhor all forms of terrorism.

“The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has directed Nigerian security agencies to commence full investigation into the incident. While steps are being taken to verify the identity of the alleged suspect and his motives, our security agencies will cooperate fully with the American authorities in the on-going investigations.

“Nigerian government will be providing updates as more information becomes available.”

How it all started

The commotion began as Northwest Airlines Flight 253, carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew members from Amsterdam, prepared to land in Detroit just before noon last Friday. Travellers said they smelled smoke, saw a glow, and heard what sounded like firecrackers. At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man, who officials say was trying to ignite an explosive device.

“It sounded like a firecracker in a pillowcase,” said Peter Smith, a passenger from the Netherlands. “First there was a pop, and then (there) was smoke.”

Smith said one passenger, sitting opposite the man, climbed over passengers, went across the aisle and tried to restrain the man. The heroic passenger appeared to have been burned.

Afterward, the suspect was taken to a front-row seat with his trousers cut off and his legs burned. Multiple law enforcement officials also said the man appeared badly burned on his legs, indicating the explosive was strapped there. The components were apparently mixed in-flight and included a powdery substance, multiple law enforcement and counter terrorism officials said.

The White House said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel. Dutch anti-terrorism authorities said the U.S. has asked all airlines to take extra precautions on flights worldwide that are bound for the United States.

The incident was reminiscent of Richard Reid, who tried to destroy a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001 with explosives hidden in his shoes, but was subdued by other passengers.

One law enforcement official said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil, but other law enforcement officials cautioned that such claims could not be verified immediately, and said the man may have been acting independently — inspired but not specifically trained or ordered by terror groups.

According to Associated Press, all the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Intelligence and anti-terrorism officials in Yemen said they were investigating claims by the suspect that he picked up the explosive device and instructions on how to use it in that country. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Melinda Dennis, who was seated in the front row of the plane, said the man involved was brought to the front row and seated near her. She said his legs appeared to be badly burned and his pants were cut off. She said he was taken off the plane handcuffed to a stretcher.

An intelligence official said he was being held and treated in an Ann Arbor, Mich, hospital. The hospital said one passenger from the flight was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, but referred all inquiries to the FBI.

One law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mutallab’s name had surfaced earlier on at least one U.S. intelligence database, but he was not on a watch list or a no-fly list.

The suspect boarded in Nigeria and went through Amsterdam en route to Detroit, Rep. Peter King, the ranking GOP member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN. A spokeswoman for police at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam declined comment about the case or about security procedures at the airport for Flight 253.

Dutch airline KLM says the connection in Amsterdam from Lagos, Nigeria, to Detroit involves a change in carrier and a change in aircraft.

Dutch antiterrorism authorities said weekend that Mutallab was travelling on a U.S. visa valid through the first half of 2010.

She said an initial investigation showed that routine security procedures were followed at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam with no irregularities. Mutallab’s name was on the passenger manifesto that was forwarded and approved by U.S. authorities before takeoff.

London’s Metropolitan Police also was working with U.S. officials, said a spokeswoman who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department policy. A search was under way Saturday at an apartment building where Mutallab is said to have lived in a posh West London neighborhood.

University College, London issued a statement saying a student named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab studied Mechanical Engineering there between September 2005 and June 2008. But the college said it wasn’t certain the student was the same person who was on the plane.

Delta Air Lines Inc., which acquired Northwest last year, said a passenger caused a disturbance, was subdued, and the crew requested that law enforcement officials meet the flight.

Passenger Syed Jafry, a U.S. citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said the incident occurred during the plane’s descent. Jafry said he was seated three rows behind the passenger and said he saw a glow, and noticed a smoke smell.

It was another passenger, who Jafry described as being in his 20s or early 30s and having a medium, stocky build, who quickly jumped toward the man who had started the fire. “He did a good job with his power, tackled him and put him under arrest,” Jafry said Saturday.

Federal officials said there would be heightened security for both domestic and international flights at airports across the country, but the intensified levels would likely be “layered,” differing from location to location depending on alerts, security concerns and other factors.

Passengers can expect to see more screening, bomb-sniffing dogs, officer units and behavioral-detection specialists at some airports, but there will also be unspecified less visible precautions as well, officials said.

The FBI and the Homeland Security Department issued an intelligence note on Nov. 20 about the threat picture for the holiday season, which was obtained by The Associated Press. At the time, officials said they had no specific information about attack plans by al-Qaida or other terrorist groups.

President Barack Obama was notified of the incident and discussed it with security officials, the White House said. Officials said he is monitoring the situation and receiving regular updates from his vacation spot in Hawaii.

Mallam Abdulmutallab who was born on December 22, 1986 into the family of multi-billionaire, former Chairman of First Bank, is said to be held currently on immigration charges until full terror charges are assembled. He was said to have been on a terrorist watch list for quite a while.


Father of Nigerian would-be plane bomber warned US

By PAMELA HESS and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – U.S. government officials tell The Associated Press that the Nigerian man charged with trying to destroy a jetliner came to the attention of U.S. intelligence in November when his father went to the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, to express his concerns about his son.

A congressional official said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, popped up in U.S. intelligence reports about four weeks ago as having a connection to both al-Qaida and Yemen.

Another government official said Abdulmutallab's father went to the embassy in Abuja with his concerns, but did not have any specific information that would put him on the "no-fly list" or on the list for additional security checks at the airport.

Neither was the information sufficient to revoke his visa to visit the United States. His visa had been granted June 2008 and was valid through June 2010. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because neither was authorized to speak to the media.


...US Blames Security At Lagos Airports

From Laolu Akande, New York
Nigerian Guardian

IN response to the aborted terrorist attack on a US-bound plane, the White House is seeking to gather more information from the Nigerian government, particularly its aviation authorities, regarding the details of the alleged Nigerian terrorist, Umar Farouk Abudul Mutallab, a 23 year-old son of the immediate past chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Dr. Umaru Abdul Mutallab, who is also the current Chairman of Nigeria's first Islamic bank, Jaiz International Plc.

The United States is worried that the suspect was screened and given a clean bill of health at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, where he is believed to have started his journey.

According to US sources, at the time of the incident, (afternoon time in the US), it was already late in both Europe and Nigeria, but local media reports say US investigators are still awaiting feedback from the Nigerian end as at yesterday morning, New York time.

Since the incident occurred on Christmas day, sources in the US have continued to cast aspersion on the level of security at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, describing it as very porous.

A US Congressman from New York Peter King specifically stated that the Nigerian airport is on the US Federal Aviation Authority's (FAA) list of airports with poor security.

The implication is that the alleged terrorist may have easily sneaked the suspected material through airport security. US FBI agents have since taken the explosive devices to its laboratory in Virginia State, US to determine its exact composition.

Leaders of some Nigerian groups in the US have been looking forward to a statement from the Nigerian Embassy, a hope that is dashed by lack of a Nigerian Ambassador in the US.

Similarly, the Embassy in Washington DC could not issue a statement due to the fact that incident happened during the yuletide.

Meanwhile, US-based Nigerian professionals (many of them US citizens) expressed were alarmed about the news of the alleged involvement of a Nigerian in a terrorist act aboard a US airline.

Dr. Baba Adam, a US university administrator, said it is unfortunate that Nigeria "has or is becoming a breeding ground for extremist groups and organizations. This is a direct attack on us, as Nigerians in the US, as well as our new home country - the United States of America.

"This terrorist and whoever his collaborators are must be brought to full force of the law under the USA Patriot Act," said Adam.

In a similar vein, Dr Ola Kassim, a medical practitioner and former chairman of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization, which head office is in the US, said the latest attempt to blow up a passenger airline should be condemned in unmistakable terms by all right-thinking human beings worldwide, regardless of the nationality or religious background of the alleged perpetrator."

Kassim urged the Nigerian government and all "Nigerian citizens to openly condemn this terrorist act. We live in a dangerous world."

He, however, noted that " the passport system in Nigeria lags below international standards, since many non-Nigerian citizens are able to obtain genuine Nigerian Passports through fraudulent means."

According to Kassim, "Whether or not the alleged perpetrator is a Nigerian does not matter. Either way, the Nigerian identity as opposed to all Nigerians becomes linked with the issue - either for lax security at our airports, or for the lack of due diligence in identifying bonafide Nigerians, who are worthy of being issued our travel documents."

But in a more radical reaction, a US-based Nigerian pro-democratic group, Citizens For Nigeria (CFN), said it is "outraged by the unfortunate set of events through the years in the Nigerian nation that have culminated into this act of terrorism in the US, supposedly by a Nigerian national."

The CFN was founded by a Nigerian journalist, Tunde Odediran, few years ago in New Jersey, and has now grown to include other active American-Nigerians clamouring for change in Nigeria and holding the Federal Government responsible for the fate of the country.

In a statement issued over the weekend in the US by one of CFN's officials, Ayo Abimbola, a US military veteran, the group noted that the event involving the Nigerian suspect in Detroit, US, is "a disaster that has been long in coming was averted.

"This happened because a group of selfish Nigerian leaders with Islamic affiliation have, instead of taking the necessary action, quietly aided Islamic fundamentalism for almost 30 years. The Citizens for Nigeria can predict that when Abdul Farouk Abdul Mutallab's identity is revealed, he will be known to come from the northern part of Nigeria that has always received State protection and patronage for religious persecution."

CFN recalled that in July, 2009, "when the security forces in northern Nigerian battled the remnants of an Islamic sect loosely modeled after Afghanistan's Taliban movement, the world did not pay attention.

"In that particular incident, more than 180 people died; and it was a local Nigerian news. Now that a Nigerian, likely affiliated with Al Qaeda, attacked an American airline, the world's attention will be fixed on Nigeria. To a majority of Nigerians, religious terrorism has a long history."

Indeed, earlier this year in May, The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) added six new countries to its list of nations responsible for committing violations of religious freedom. Nigeria featured in that list, alongside, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Korea, China, Iran and Iraq.

According to the CFN, "the government of Nigeria has done little to prevent sectarian violence and there have been no serious efforts to investigate or prosecute the perpetrators of the numerous sectarian killings and crimes that have occurred over the past 10 years.

On May 1, under the auspices of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, USCIRF recommended that Nigeria be named as a "Country of Particular Concern (CPC)", a category designated for egregious abusers of religious freedom, which includes the concept of gross failure to act to prevent severe violations.


Bomb Attack: Senate Condemns Mutallab's Action

Exonerates Other Nigerians From Terrorism

From Alifa Daniel, Asst Politics Editor, Abuja

THE Senate, yesterday, exonerated other Nigerians from the alleged attempt, by a Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, to blow up an American airline.

Mutallab was overpowered by other passengers as he allegedly attempted to ignite an incendiary substance he had on him.

Senate Spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze, in a statement he issued yesterday, condemned Mutallab's action, which he described as a "strange act of terrorism."

"We condemn this strange act of terrorism from a Nigerian in very strong terms. We are at a loss as to where he got this strange habit, because Nigeria abhors terrorism in all its ramifications.

"The Senate, therefore frowns at this isolated unfortunate incident; and we ask the world to treat him on his own merit and not associate this conduct with law-abiding Nigerians who are decent and respectable international citizens wherever they are.

"The Senate equally urges Nigerians to rise in condemnation of this naked attempt to smear the image of our dear country of our dear country. Nobody should import fundamentalism into Nigeria under any guise."

The Los Angeles Times report on the web yesterday said Mutallab was on an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight and allegedly tried to blow up the airliner, which landed safely, though he is said to be badly hurt. Authorities consider it a terrorism attempt.

The report reads that the Nigerian passenger attempted to ignite an incendiary device aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday as the plane began its approach for landing, US federal officials said.

The report reads in part: 'The suspect, identified as Abdul Mutallab, 23, suffered severe burns as a result of the attempt, authorities said, and two of the other 277 passengers reported minor injuries.

'FBI agents were investigating the incident, which a White House official said was an attempted act of terrorism."He was trying to ignite some kind of incendiary device," said a federal anti-terrorism official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. "He lit himself on fire and he's suffered some burns."'The device, which mixed powder and liquid, was said to be less powerful than a bomb.

'President Obama was briefed on the incident during his Hawaii vacation, the White House said in a statement, and airport security was stiffened worldwide.

'The suspect -- an engineering student at University College of London, according to ABC News and NBC News -- began his trip Thursday from Nigeria. It was not clear Friday whether Mutallab underwent security screening in Amsterdam or merely changed planes there.'It also was uncertain Friday night whether the suspect had ties to a terrorist organization or had attempted the attack on his own, authorities said.

Despite earlier reports that he had claimed a connection to Al Qaeda, Mutallab denied any such link in later statements to FBI agents interrogating him, the anti-terrorism official said.'"Right now, he is saying he was not part of an organization or a coordinated effort. I want to caution people from jumping headlong into the Al Qaeda link because it's a very murky area," the official said.

'The suspect smuggled a powder aboard the plane in a container taped to his leg, the official said.'Covering himself with a blanket to hide his actions, he used a syringe to inject a liquid into the powder, and a fire resulted from the combustible mix, according to the official, who did not identify the materials.

'The official denied reports that Mutallab had been on the federal "no-fly" list of suspected extremists and other potentially dangerous individuals, which is shared with airlines. But the official did not rule out the possibility that the Nigerian had been on some other U.S. government database.

'Various media reports spelled the suspect's name different ways. The Associated Press gave his full name as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab.'The Northwest jet, an Airbus 330 with Delta markings, landed about noon local time. (The two airlines merged in April 2008.) It carried a crew of 11.

Syed Jafri, a US citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said the incident occurred during the plane's descent. Jafri said he was seated three rows behind the passenger and said he saw a glow and smelled smoke. Then, he said, "a young man behind me jumped on him.Next thing you know, there was a lot of panic," Jafri said.


...Poser Over Security At Nigerian Airports

By Wole Shadare
Nigerian Guardian

THE arrest of a Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, over an attempt to blow up a United States Airliner belonging to Delta Airlines, has raised fresh concern about aviation security in not just Nigeria alone but all over the world.

Mutallab was said to have departed Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, to Amsterdam en-route Detroit. He was reported to have boarded Royal Dutch Airlines KLM flight from Lagos to Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam to Detroit, without being detected by aviation authorities in both Nigeria and Netherlands.

According to reports, an attempted terrorist attack on a Christmas Day flight began with a pop and a puff of smoke - sending passengers scrambling to subdue a Nigerian man who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaeda to blow up the airliner, officials and travelers said.

Passengers said they smelled smoke, saw a glow, and heard what sounded like firecrackers. At least, one person climbed over others and jumped on the man, who officials say was trying to ignite an explosive device.

Not a few believe that security measures put in place at the Lagos airport or any of the Nigerian airports may not be effective enough to detect the carriage of explosives or drugs.

Although the country has spent so much to improve security, but corruption, on the part of aviation security officials, has made put a stumbling block on the efforts of the Federal Government from yielding the expected dividends, as touting and toll collection has given way to effective policing of both the sensitive and non sensitive areas alike.

The Guardian had reported security lax at the airports, as having aided drug trafficking. The Nigerian Drug Law Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) would have recorded more success at fighting drug traffickers if there had been commensurate cooperation from other security outfits. The influx of private jets by powerful Nigerians who take off and land at various airports without proper security checks has equally fuelled the appalling security situation, particularly at the Lagos airport.

Piqued by the lawlessness of these few powerful Nigerians, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, quickly summoned a security meeting where he issued a stern warning to any one found flouting security at any of the airports.

Again, people are wont to ask how much the country spends yearly on aviation. The amount earmarked for aviation, a paltry N15 billion, is just too small to tackle aviation security, not to talk of infrastructure.

Civil aviation security exists to prevent criminal activity on aircraft and in airports. Criminal activity includes acts, such as hijacking (air piracy), damaging or destroying aircraft and nearby areas with bombs, and assaulting passengers and aviation employees.

The domestic wing of the Lagos airport, christened General Aviation Terminal (GAT), is a disaster waiting to happen. Not only is security lax at the area a major concern, the screening machines intermittently breaks down, raising fresh fears about insecurity in the area.

It was rumoured then that the ill-fated Bellview airplane crash in Lisa, Ogun State in 2005, which departed from the area could have been planted with explosives, considering the effect of the crash. The aircraft was said to have been blown apart mid air before its nose was entombed in Lisa forest.

However, the report of the crash is yet to be made public by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mutallab Man Who Shamed Nigeria

FG Orders Full Investigation Into Nigerian's Attempted Attack On US Aircraft

World Condemns Action, As Aviation Chiefs Meet

FAAN Defends Security At Lagos Airport

By Marcel Mbamalu, Wole Shadare (Lagos), and Nkechi Onyedika (Abuja)
Nigerian Guardian

Twenty Three year-old Nigerian, Umaru Farouk Abdul Mutallab, put Nigeria on the global map of terrorism, when he tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines Flight 253, carrying 278 passengers and 11 crewmembers from Amsterdam, as it prepared to land in Detroit, just before noon on Christmas day.

The attempted suicide attack by Mutallab, the son of a former chairman of First Bank Nigeria Plc, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, on the aircraft belonging to a United States airliner, Delta Airlines, drew rage across the globe, just as airport security across the world are daily devising means to improve on aviation security.

Consequently, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, directed Nigerian security agencies to commence full investigation into the incident.

According to New York Times, young Mutallab, who was linked to the al-Qaeda, had tried to set off an explosive device aboard a U.S. passenger plane as it approached Detroit on Friday, but was overpowered by passengers and crew, as the aircraft landed safely. The suspect suffered extensive burns and was taken into custody. The passengers, two of whom suffered minor injuries, disembarked safely from the Delta Air Lines plane, which had departed from Amsterdam.

Reacting to the development yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, said that Nigeria as a nation abhor all forms of terrorism and assured that Nigerian security agencies would cooperate with the American authorities in the on-going investigations.

A statement signed by the minister read in part, "The Federal Government of Nigeria received with dismay the news of an attempted terrorist attack on a US airline, we want to state very clearly that as a nation, and we abhor all forms of terrorism.

"The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has directed Nigerian security agencies to commence full investigation of the incident. While steps are being taken to verify the identity of the alleged suspect and his motives, our security agencies will cooperate fully with the American authorities in the on-going investigations. Nigerian government will be providing updates as more information becomes available."

Unconfirmed reports, yesterday, suggested that security agents might have invited Dr Umaru Abdul Mutallab, father of young Mutallab, for questioning over the incident. But efforts, by our reporters, to reach either the former chairman of First Bank or the security agencies to confirm the report of the invitation was not successful.

The Guardian later spoke with Celine Loader, the head of the Corporate Communications at the First Bank Plc, who said the bank had no official reaction to the development yet. "There is no official reaction yet, because we are still trying to investigate the report," said Loader.

The chief image-maker of the bank, however, declined comments on the progress made so far.

An information on the Daily News website yesterday quoted unidentified family members as saying that young Mutallab's father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, "a former minister and chairman of First Bank in Nigeria, is shocked that his son was even allowed to fly to the U.S." The top Nigerian banker was said to have alerted US authorities about his son's 'extreme religious views' months ago.

"The dad was meeting with security officials to discuss his son, identified as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, 23._The younger Mutallab was not on any no-fly list when he flew from Nigeria to Detroit through Amsterdam."

Meanwhile, top aviation chiefs, made up of the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Richard Aisuebeogun, Director of Airports Security, and other top security officials, yesterday held a closed door meeting in Lagos to unravel how a Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, smuggled explosives, with the intention to blow up an aircraft belonging to United States airliner, Delta Airlines.

The action of the Nigerian said to be son of a former chairman of First Bank Nigeria Plc, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, drew rage across the globe, just as airport security across the world are daily devising means to improve on aviation security.

According to reports, an attempted terrorist attack on a Christmas Day flight began with a pop and a puff of smoke - sending passengers scrambling to subdue a Nigerian man who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaeda to blow up the airliner, officials and travelers said.

The commotion was said to have begun as Northwest Airlines Flight 253, carrying 278 passengers and 11 crewmembers from Amsterdam, prepared to land in Detroit just before noon on Christmas day.

Passengers said they smelled smoke, saw a glow, and heard what sounded like firecrackers. At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man, who officials say was trying to ignite an explosive device.

"It sounded like a firecracker in a pillowcase," said Peter Smith, a passenger from the Netherlands. "First there was a pop, and then (there) was smoke."

Smith said one passenger, sitting opposite the man, climbed over passengers, went across the aisle and tried to restrain the man. The heroic passenger appeared to have been burned.

"Afterward, the suspect was taken to a front-row seat with his pants cut off and his legs burned. Multiple law enforcement officials also said the man appeared badly burned on his legs, indicating the explosive was strapped there. The components were apparently mixed in-flight and included a powdery substance, multiple law enforcement and counterterrorism officials said.

Since September 11, 2001 when terrorists, acting for al-Qaida blew up World Trade Centre with passenger aircraft, the world took a proactive step to ensure maximum security, both before and after take-off, but this recent incident shocked the whole world.

Demuren, in a telephone interview with The Guardian yesterday, confirmed the meeting, but declined to give further insight into the outcome of the meeting.

He simply said that they had been able to confirm that the alleged terrorist was a Nigeria, saying, "I cannot say more than that. The Federal Government will issue a statement on that."

Efforts by The Guardian to know what the authority intends to do to tighten security at the nation airports met the brick wall, as he hurriedly said, "No comment and thank you very much."

A source, who spoke to The Guardian under a strict condition of anonymity, said that the meeting was called to appraise security lapses at the airport and ways to block all the lapses that might aid the carriage of explosives or dangerous weapons on board airliners.

It was not clear as at press time whether the suspect actually carried his explosives through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos to Amsterdam, en-route Detroit.

Mutallab's itinerary shows that he boarded in Nigeria and went through Amsterdam en route Detroit.

Dutch Airline, KLM said yesterday that the connection in Amsterdam from Lagos, Nigeria, to Detroit involves a change in carrier and a change in aircraft.

Schiphol Airport, one of Europe's busiest with a heavy load of transit passengers from Africa and Asia to North America, strictly enforces European security regulations including only allowing small amounts of liquid in hand luggage that must be placed inside clear plastic bags.

Meanwhile, the White House in its reaction said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel.

Dutch anti-terrorism authorities said the U.S. has asked all airlines to take extra precautions on flights worldwide that are bound for the United States.

One law enforcement official said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaeda to detonate the plane over U.S. soil, but other law enforcement officials cautioned that such claims could not be verified immediately, and said the man may have been acting independently - inspired but not specifically trained or ordered by terror groups.

Intelligence and anti-terrorism officials in Yemen said they were investigating claims by the suspect that he picked up the explosive device and instructions on how to use it in that country.

A spokesman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Akin Olukunle, said all passengers and their luggage are screened before boarding international flights. He also said the airport in Lagos cleared a U.S. Transportation Security Administration audit in November.

"We had a pass mark," Olukunle said. "We actually are up to standards in all senses."


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aviation Terrorism: The Familiar Terrain

By Wole Shadare
Nigerian Guardian

Today, aviation security is high on the list of priorities of air travelers, the Federal Government, and the international air community. In the earliest days of aviation, however, security was only a minor concern.

The first recorded hijacking occurred in May 1930, when Peruvian revolutionaries seized a Pan American mail plane with the aim of dropping propaganda leaflets over Lima. No hijackings were then recorded until 1947.

Between that year and 1958, 23 hijackings mostly committed by eastern Europeans seeking political asylum, were reported. The world's first fatal hijacking took place in July 1947 when three Romanians killed an aircrew member.

The first major act of criminal violence against a U.S. airliner occurred on November 1, 1955, when Jack Graham placed a bomb in luggage belonging to his mother and killed all 44 people on board a Denver-bound plane. Graham had hoped to cash in his mother's life insurance policy; instead, he was sentenced to death. In January 1960, a heavily insured suicide bomber killed all aboard a National Airlines plane, sparking demands for the use of baggage-inspection devices.

Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959, and soon after, the number of hijackings began to grow. At first, flights were hijacked by those wishing to escape from Cuba. The pattern changed in May 1961, with the first American airliner diverted to Cuba. Other such incidents took place that summer, and the government began using armed guards on commercial planes when requested by the airlines or the FBI. In September, President John F. Kennedy signed legislation that prescribed the death penalty or at least 20 years' imprisonment for air piracy.

The skies remained relatively quiet until February 21, 1968, when a fugitive forced a DC-8 plane to fly to Cuba. This started a rash of hijackings in the United States that would last through 1972. Worldwide, the U.S. Department of Transportation placed the total number of hijackings from 1968 through 1972 at 364.

The international aviation community had earlier recognized the seriousness of air piracy. In 1963, the Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (known as the Tokyo Convention) had been drafted, requiring the prompt return of hijacked aircraft and passengers. In December 1970, the United States and 49 other nations signed the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (Hague Convention). Ratified by the U.S. Senate in September 1971, it categorized hijacking as a criminal rather than as a political act. The 1971 Montreal Convention, which went into force in 1973, strengthened the earlier agreements.

Although most hijackings in the 1960s were to Cuba, in August 1969, Arab terrorists carried out the first hijacking of a U.S. aircraft flying outside the Western Hemisphere when they diverted an Israel-bound TWA aircraft to Syria . Another incident that October involved a U.S. Marine who sent a TWA plane on a 17-hour circuitous journey to Rome . This was the first time that FBI agents attempted to thwart a hijacking in progress and that shots were fired by the hijacker of a U.S. plane. Other violent incidents followed. In March 1970, a copilot was killed and the pilot and hijacker seriously hurt during a hijacking. The first passenger death in a U.S. hijacking occurred in June 1971.

Following the hijacking of eight airliners to Cuba in January 1969, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created the Task Force on the Deterrence of Air Piracy. The Task Force developed a hijacker "profile" that could be used along with metal detectors (magnetometers) in screening passengers.

In October, Eastern Air Lines began using the system, and four more airlines followed in 1970. Although the system seemed effective, a hijacking by Arab terrorists in September 1970, during which four airliners were blown up, convinced the White House that stronger steps were needed.

On September 11, 1970, President Richard Nixon announced a comprehensive anti-hijacking program that included a Federal marshal program.

In early March 1972, the discovery of bombs on three airliners led President Nixon to speed certain FAA rulemaking actions to tighten airline security. In October, however, four hijackers bound for Cuba killed a ticket agent. The next month, three criminals seriously wounded the copilot of a Southern Airways flight and forced the plane to takeoff even after an FBI agent shot out its tires. These violent hijackings triggered a landmark change in aviation security. In December, the FAA issued an emergency rule making inspection of carry-on baggage and scanning of all passengers by airlines mandatory at the start of 1973. An anti-hijacking bill signed in August 1974, sanctioned the universal screening.

These stringent measures paid off, and the number of U.S. hijackings never returned to the worst levels before 1973. No scheduled airliners were hijacked in the United States until September 1976, when Croatian nationalists commandeered a jetliner. Two fatal bombings did occur, though: a bomb exploded in September 1974, on a U.S. plane bound from Tel Aviv to New York , killing all 88 persons aboard, and a bomb exploded in a locker at New York 's LaGuardia Airport in December 1975, killing 11. That bombing caused airports to locate lockers where they could be monitored.

In June 1985, Lebanese terrorists diverted a TWA plane leaving Athens for Beirut. One passenger was murdered during the two-week ordeal; the remaining 155 were released. This hijacking, as well as an upsurge in Middle East terrorism, resulted in several U.S. actions, among them the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985 that made Federal air marshals a permanent part of the FAA workforce.

On December 21, 1988, a bomb destroyed Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 people aboard the London -to- New York flight, as well as 11 on the ground were killed. Investigators found that a bomb concealed in a radio-cassette player had been loaded on the plane in Frankfort, Germany.

This tragedy followed an FAA bulletin issued in mid-November that warned of such a device and one on December 7 of a possible bomb to be placed on a Pan Am plane in Frankfort. Early in 2001, a panel of Scottish judges convicted a Libyan intelligence officer for his role in the crime.

Security measures that went into effect for U.S. carriers at European and Middle East airports after the Lockerbie bombing included requirements to x-ray or search all checked baggage and to match passengers and their baggage.

During and after the 1990s, the FAA sponsored research on new equipment to detect bombs and weapons and made incremental improvements to aviation security that included efforts to upgrade the effectiveness of screening personnel at airports. In 1996, two accidental airline crashes focused attention on the danger of explosions aboard aircraft, including those caused by hazardous cargo. The FAA's response included banning certain hazardous materials from passenger airplanes. The 1997 Federal appropriation to the FAA provided funds for more airport security personnel and for new security equipment.

In the last few years, airport security procedures were sometimes faulted by the media and by the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), an independent government office that assesses Federal programs and operations and makes recommendations. In 1999, for example, a report issued by the OIG criticized the FAA for being slow to limit unauthorized access to secure areas in airports, stating that its investigators were able to penetrate these areas repeatedly.

In 2000, it also faulted the agency for issuing airport identificationu sed to access secure airport areas without sufficient checks. But for the ten years following February 1991, there were no airline hijackings in the United States.

This lull was shattered on September 11, 2001, when terrorists hijacked four U.S. airliners and crashed three of them into buildings and one into the ground, causing the death of thousands.

This unprecedented attack resulted in an immediate and drastic heightening of air transportation security.

In November, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act gave the Federal Government direct responsibility for airport screening, which had previously been performed by the airlines and their contractors. Other provisions of the Act included the creation of a new Department of Transportation organization, the Transportation Security Agency, to oversee security in all modes of travel.

6 comments:

asmau said...

Has the Nigerian government attempted to find out the truth from this so called syringe bomber or have we just accepted what we heard from the press and america. I believe umar farouk was brain washed to do what he did and had it been he wanted to destroy the plane, he would have brought stronger explosives instead of injuring himself alone. There is more to this story than the world knows. America is misguiding us and making us beleive what they want us to believe.

Anonymous said...

Very nice - easy to follow, simple, and working. Thanks for the knowledge!
More templates easy to download

Anonymous said...

Cool heart, and shot on the mercy Dragonica Gold of, Ling Po crazy way to EVE Isk kill, he began to love the taste of blood, like to see these cowardly FFXI GIL monsters in front of him like the poor, like the thrill of the muscles across the Bing Ren ... ...

He entered the 49th floor, the Lineage 2 Adena iron front of the room was familiar. The middle of the Last Chaos Gold room there is an old man sitting there, is close their eyes meditatively. It Knight Online Gold seemed that the advent of Ivy Ling Po do not know.

Ivy Ling Po stood there quietly, he Flyff Penya has felt the old man out of a strong body radiates a gas, he stared at the old man: "When I first arrived someone asked EQ2 Gold me to defeat the forty-nine-story monster, now left This last layer of the, no one thought was a powerful human masters, could I then, he 2Moons Dil takes a fight? "Ivy Ling Po Zi Cun," Although I experienced 48 times the fighting, but also learn many new moves can be With my present strength, but also far behind him, it appears was a World War II had.

Anonymous said...

IM is already there and with jabber really well done, why not define several additional personal information meta data and assign external urls/services what not to it, so you can browse your buddys and show all the information lotro gold from several different sources if you like (maybe even in a nice context based Mabinogi Gold plasmoid view). You could even get the relevant information Maple story mesos from other services (local and private ones) hidden from the IM service, but only mapped by the client to your addressbook.

so .. lots Wow Power Leveling of good things, but the whole “it sucks because our graphics Rom Gold layer Ragnarok Zeny sucks” thing has really got me by the balls.

When all the feathers are gone, when Buy Aion Gold the blue sky,aion power leveling we, white clouds, when grasslands are gone, Ling Po stood up,buy aion gold etc., his heart to absorb the magic Shiratori finished after the ready to set off for the fifth floor, just as the blue sky, white clouds of regret has been disappearing grassland ,buy aion gold making, and innate goodness was his burial. Yes, he has Aion Power Leveling figured out that several war down, all in all, just as it sounds exactly the same as if he did not kill those monsters, then Dofus Kamas this time he does not have the opportunity to stand up again .

Anonymous said...

"How do you no want to Cabal Alz know? For example,aion gold of, why you will enter Metin2 Yang into this devil's tower, for example, why you Perfect World gold would black light, such as ... ..."

Thank you for your timely buy wow gold consideration of this request and your rom gold leadership to move the renewable fuel industry into the 21st century. Please feel free to contact our offices if we can provide atlantica gold additional information on the importance of the biodiesel tax credit.

We write to last chaos gold urge quick passage of the knight online gold biodiesel tax credit as soon as the House begins the second session Knight Online Gold of the 111th Congress.

Anonymous said...

Noch nicht das Tor betrat, fühlte eve isk Po Ling Yi Gu Hitze auf den ersten Blick schnell nach unten, sein Gesicht brennenden Schmerzen. Block vor seiner metin2 yang Hände, sahen wir in ein Meer des Feuers. Es gibt in voller Flamme mannshoch, Flammen wow gold huschen, Wärme-Wellen, ungeheuerlich. "Ming ... ...", hörte ich rufen und von den Flammen im Inneren gehört. Ein ffxi gil großer Zahl in die Flammen zu sehen.

"Wie könnte die maple story mesos Dinosaurier ... ... ... ..." Lingbo aion power leveling dachte: "Sie sind aion kinah nicht ausgestorben, bevor lange, wie könnte dofus kamas hier?"