31 Dec 2009

US had prior warning of attack from Yemen

3:55 pm on 31 December 2009

The United States was aware that a Nigerian in Yemen was being prepared for a terrorist attack, weeks before an attempted bombing on a US plane.

Both ABC News and The New York Times report there was intelligence to this effect.

The source of the intelligence about "a Nigerian" in Yemen was reported as coming from the Yemeni government or from US intercept intelligence, which can refer to intercepted e-mail and phone calls.

President Barack Obama has said that a systemic failure allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to fly to the United States on 25 December despite his father warning officials about his extremist views in November.

Mr Obama wants to know why the warning did not lead to the accused being placed on a no-fly list.

Mr Abdulmutallab has reportedly told investigators he trained in Yemen with al-Qaeda. He was living in Yemen from August to early December.

Man with explosives in custody

A Somali man is in custody in Mogadishu, suspected of trying to take explosives onto a plane in November.

Officials have revealed he had chemicals, liquid and a syringe - materials similar to those used by Mr Abdulmutallab, who is accused of trying to blow up a plane on Christmas Day.

The Daallo Airlines plane was due to fly to the northern city of Hargeisa, then on to Djibouti and Dubai.

The BBC reports the airport is in one of the few areas controlled by the Somali government.

Much of the country is controlled by Islamist groups who have been accused of links to al-Qaeda.