26 Dec 2009

Air security tightened after attempted terror attack

5:12 pm on 26 December 2009

United States President Barack Obama has ordered tighter security on air travel and additional screening after a passenger on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit tried to detonate an explosive device.

The White House says the incident was an attempted terrorist attack.

The BBC reports a Nigerian man was overpowered by other passengers and the flight crew. He is in custody with extensive third-degree burns.

Federal officials identified the man as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, according to The New York Times and the Washington Post. ABC News and NBC News reported that he attends University College London, where he studied engineering.

A member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter King (R), told CNN he is thought to have al Qaeda connections.

An airline spokesperson says some minor injuries occurred during the incident.

The Airbus 330, which was carrying 278 passengers, landed safely at Detroit airport at around midday Friday (1700 GMT).

The FBI and the Federal Aviation Authority are investigating.

A senior US security advisor says the first priority for officials will be to establish that this incident is not the first of a cluster timed to occur one after the other.