News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


Terrorist Tries to Blow Up Plane During Final Approach

Terrorist Tries to Blow Up Plane During Final Approach

(AP Photo)

The AP via YellowBrix

December 26, 2009

WASHINGTON — – In what was described as an act of terrorism, a Nigerian passenger attempted to ignite an incendiary device Friday aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit as the plane began its approach for landing, federal officials said. The plane landed safely shortly before noon.

The suspected would-be bomber suffered burns as the result of his attempt, and two of the other 277 passengers reported minor injuries, authorities said. FBI agents were investigating the incident, which a White House official said was thought to be 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 official did not reveal the nature of the explosive device and said it was too early to say how potent or sophisticated it was. The passenger has been identified as a Nigerian who caught the flight in Amsterdam, the anti-terrorism official said.

The Northwest flight, on an Airbus 330, was operated by Delta Airlines and had Delta markings. The two companies merged in April 2008.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the Christmas Day incident during his vacation in Hawaii and was receiving regular updates.

A White House statement said the president conferred with John Brennan, his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, and with Denis McDonough, acting chief of staff of the National Security Council, and had instructed that “all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel.”

The Department of Homeland Security said passengers might see additional screening measures on domestic and international flights because of the incident and urged travelers to report any suspicious activity or behavior to law enforcement officials.

“We encourage those with future travel plans to stay in touch with their airline and to visit for updates,” the department said.

Syed Jafri, a U.S. citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said the incident occurred during the plane’s descent, according to the Associated Press. Jafri said he was seated three rows behind the other passenger and said he saw a glow and noticed the smell of smoke. Then “a young man behind me jumped on him.”

“Next thing you know, there was a lot of panic,” Jafri said.

Video Coverage of the Incident >>>

  • English_max50


    over 4 years ago


    He took a flight from Nigeria but then another from Amsterdam.........why wasn't he checked in the Netherlands?
    News here is that he suffred 'horrific' burns.......what a shame

  • Policeforever_140_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This story rememored me the story of the 93's flight.
    Good Job pasengers.

  • P1010058_max50


    over 4 years ago


    appearently in Nigeria you can get anything on the plane

  • Uniform_max50


    over 4 years ago


    How did this guy get an incendiary device on, they practically cavity search people before they get on planes.

  • Au_max50


    over 4 years ago


    very glad no one but the suspect was hurt, and I hope he's in alot of pain.

  • 101_0072_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Glad to see some passengars made an effort to subdue the man.

  • Img00009_max50


    over 4 years ago


    great now that these terrorist attacks keep surfacing because of idiots doing acts of insanity, when normal people like you and I travel we'll have to go through more security measures making traveling a pain in the ass.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

SE851 commented on: "Grant McClellan", 10 minutes ago.
Bfranco received the quiz result of "You did not receive a passing score", about 1 hour ago.
drknite298 commented on: "Using the Tactical Combat Fighting Stance", about 1 hour ago.
SE851 commented on: "David Hamson", about 1 hour ago.