, “Terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab rigged underwear with explosives to bring down Flight 253”:
… Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab told investigators a radical imam he met over the Internet hooked him up with a terror boss in northern Yemen, ABC News said.
He says he trained with the Al Qaeda leader for a month while they planned the Christmas Day attack on Northwest Flight 253.
A Saudi bomb maker rigged up a six-inch packet of high explosives—known as PETN—and a syringe and sewed it into his underpants, the report said.
… Meanwhile, disturbing questions swirled about how the suspect was able to get on the U.S.-bound plane with a one-way ticket, a bomb in his pants and a questionable background.
Abdulmutallab has been on a watch list by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center for two years, an official said. There are 550,000 people with suspected ties to terrorism on the list.
Relatives in Nigeria said the suspect’s father—a prominent banker—was stunned his son was allowed to fly to the U.S.
The father alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria months ago that his son had developed “extreme religious views” and had disappeared, the Nigerian newspaper This Day reported.
“I am really disturbed,” said Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a former minister and chairman of First Bank in Nigeria. “I have been summoned by the Nigerian security and I am on my way to Abuja to answer the call.”
Despite the red flags, his son was not on a Transportation Security Administration “no-fly” list—and got a two-year U.S. travel visa in 2008.
“There has to be a full congressional investigation as to what is in his file and why he was not on the no-fly list,” Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, told the Daily News.
King learned yesterday that Abdulmutallab had “significant terrorism connections.”
“There was a classified file on [him],” King said, adding that intelligence officials were able to instantly pull up his dossier.
Abdulmutallab left Nigeria Dec. 24 on a KLM flight to Amsterdam, where he switched to a Northwest flight to Detroit.
As the plane neared its destination, Abdulmutallab went to the bathroom for approximately 20 minutes before the attack, according to an affidavit filed yesterday.
He returned to his seat, said his stomach hurt and pulled a blanket over himself. Then passengers heard pops and smelled smoke.