President Obama orders tighter security after terrorist attempt
President Barack Obama, has ordered increased security for air travel to and within America after an attempted terrorist act.
The White House described the action of a passenger on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam as an attempted act of terrorism.
He had tried to detonate an explosive device strapped to his leg but was overcome by other passengers and cabin crew.
He later told investigators he had affiliations with al Qaeda and was trying to blow up the plane.
After the president’s instruction, the Department of Homeland Security said airline passengers should expect to see additional screening measures on both domestic and international flights.
The suspect told investigators he was given the device by al Qaeda operatives in Yemen, along with detonation instructions, the official said.
"This guy claims he is tied to al Qaeda, specifically in Yemen," the official said. "He claims he was on orders from al Qaeda in Yemen. Who knows if that's true?"
The man was identified as a 23-year-old Nigerian named Abdul Mudallad. Officials said they believed the man boarded a KLM flight in Lagos, Nigeria, and changed planes in Amsterdam.
Official sources said the explosive was a mix of powder and liquid. It was strapped to the suspect’s leg.
The incident aboard Northwest Flight 253, an Airbus 330-300 carrying about 278 passengers, came as the plane was approaching the airport just before noon local time.
It landed safely after the pilots declared an emergency. Though a Northwest flight, the plane had Delta markings. After a merger, Delta Air Lines now owns Northwest.