30 December, 2009

PLANE BOMBER ACCOMPLICE *Amsterdam underpants*

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Flight 253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport (MLive.com exclusive)
By Sheena Harrison | MLive.com
December 26, 2009, 2:22PM

A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. .The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.'.

Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab's lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.

The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn't see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.

Haskell said the flight was mostly unremarkable. That was until he heard a flight attendant say she smelled smoke, just after the pilot announced the plane would land in Detroit in 10 minutes. Haskell got out of his seat to view the brewing commotion.

.I stood up and walked a couple feet ahead to get a closer look, and that's when I saw the flames,. said Haskell, who sat about seven rows behind Mutallab. .It started to spread pretty quickly. It went up the wall, all the way to ceiling..

Haskell, who described Mutallab as a diminutive man who looks like a teenager, said about 30 seconds passed between the first mention of smoke and when Mutallab was subdued by fellow passengers.

.He didn't fight back at all. This wasn't a big skirmish,. Haskell said. .A couple guys jumped on him and hauled him away..

The ordeal has Haskell and his wife a little shaken. Flight attendants were screaming during the fire and the pilot sounded notably nervous when bringing the plane in for a landing, he said.

.Immediately, the pilot came on and said two words: emergency landing,. Haskell said. .And that was it. The plane sped up instead of slowing down. You could tell he floored it..

As Mutallab was being led out of the plane in handcuffs, Haskell said he realized that was the same man he saw trying to board the plane in Amsterdam.

Passengers had to wait about 20 minutes before they were allowed to exit the plane. Haskell said he and other passengers waited about six hours to be interviewed by the FBI.

About an hour after landing, Haskell said he saw another man being taken into custody. But a spokeswoman from the FBI in Detroit said Mutallab was the only person taken into custody.

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Commenter says he was aboard NWA Flight 253, saw suspected terrorist board the plane
By Sheena Harrison | MLive.com
December 26, 2009, 6:49AM

Update: MLive.com talked exclusively with Pug (a.k.a. Kurt Haskell), who confirmed he was aboard Flight 253.

MLive.com commenter, Pug, says he was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 and saw suspected terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab board the plane in Amsterdam.

It's unknown whether this story is true -- you're welcome to decide for yourself. But if Pug's story checks out, then it's certainly understandable he had trouble sleeping last night after returning home from the ordeal.

"I was on this flight today and am thankful to be alive. My wife and I were returning from an African safari and had this connecting flight through Amsterdam. I sat in row 27, which was 7 rows behind the terrorist. I got to see the whole thing take place and it was very scary. Thanks to a few quick acting people I am still alive today.
For those of you talking about airline security in this thread, I was next to the terrorist when he checked in at the Amsterdam airport early on Christmas. My wife and I were playing cards directly in front of the check in counter. This is what I saw (and I relayed this to the FBI when we were held in customs):

An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said "This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport." The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17(Although I think he is 23 he doesn't look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said "you can't board without a passport". The Indian man then replied, "He is from Sudan, we do this all the time". I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said "You will have to talk to my manager", and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn't on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager.

FBI also arrested a different Indian man while we were held in customs after a bomb sniffing dog detected a bomb in his carry on bag and he was searched after we landed. This was later confirmed while we were in customs when an FBI agent said to us "You are being moved to another area because this area is not safe. Read between the lines. Some of you saw what just happened."(The arrest of the other Indian man). I am not sure why this hasn't made it into any news story, but I stood about 15-20 feet away from the other Indian man when he was cuffed and arrested after his search.

What also didn't make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutes AFTER IT LANDED!. A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn't too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately.

You can see what time I am writing this as I am having a hard time sleeping tonight. Just thought some of you would like to know what I saw, Merry Christmas."

Reuters reports Dutch military police are investigating claims that an accomplice may have helped Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab board Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Christmas day without a passport, a story first told here on MLive.com.

Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to blow up the Detroit-bound plane with an explosive chemical he smuggled through security.

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., took to the comments section of this Web site early Saturday to share his story: That he and his wife, Lori, saw a well-dressed man help Abdulmutallab board the flight without a passport under the guise he was a Sudanese refugee.

Dutch military police say they can't corroborate Haskell's account, but are investigating the allegation.

Dec. 28, Reuters.com: "At this moment we have no information on whether there was another guy," the military police spokesman said. "We are checking all clues and information we get."

The spokesman added that the military police and the counter-terrorism agency NCTb were reviewing CCTV video and other evidence to see if the accomplice story bears out.

The military police have already said Abdulmutallab did not go through passport control at Schiphol when he arrived from Lagos.

But the spokesman said it would be unlikely the man could board the plane without showing his passport at some point in the boarding process.

Haskell posted on MLive.com again yesterday, saying he's had the opportunity to share his story with more outlets.

Dec. 28: MLive.com: Hello everyone, Kurt Haskell here. Sadly to say I am having another sleepless night. I must say that I am surprised of all the attention my story is getting. Yesterday I did interviews nearly the entire day with CBS, CNN, NBC, BBC, Channel 4 Detroit, NY Daily News, etc. The two with CNN and CBS were on camera and may air today. I may be on 1 or more tv/radio shows this week but I am still waiting for confirmation. I was glad to give my favorite online newspaper, Mlive, the big "scoop". LOL. Thank you for the vast majority of positive comments. I seek only to get what I saw "out", nothing more, nothing less. Somehow I must get some rest as I am back to work today. Best regards to all.

Abdulmutallab was charged on Saturday with trying to destroy an airplane, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


The Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bombing attempt (or the Christmas Day bombing attempt) was a failed terrorist attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight from Schiphol Airport (AMS), Amsterdam, to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) in Canadian airspace near Detroit, Michigan, United States, on Christmas Day, December 25, 2009.

Two passengers were injured, in addition to the suspected bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The suspect was taken into custody and later charged by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with bringing a destructive device onto, and attempting to destroy, a U.S. civil aircraft.

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, arrived at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. He left Lagos the same day at 11 pm aboard KLM Flight 588, a Boeing 777, bound for Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. The $2,831 Lagos-Amsterdam-Detroit ticket was purchased with cash on December 16, 2009, at the KLM office in Accra, Ghana, with a January 8, 2010, return date.

With the help of an unknown "well dressed" man he might have been able to check-in without a passport.. He left Amsterdam onboard a Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-300 twinjet, with 279 passengers, 8 flight attendants and 3 pilots aboard. The plane left Amsterdam around 8:45 am local time (745 UTC), and was scheduled to arrive in Detroit at 11:40 am EST (1640 UTC), The aircraft was painted in Delta Air Lines' livery, as Northwest is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta.

Witnesses reported that a passenger, later identified as Abdulmutallab, went into the plane's bathroom for about 20 minutes, and after returning to his seat at 19A (near the fuel tanks and wing, and against the skin of the plane) complained that he had an upset stomach. He was then seen pulling a blanket over himself.

About 20 minutes before the plane landed, while flying over Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada, he secretly ignited a small explosive device consisting of a mix of plastic explosive powder and liquid acid. He apparently had a packet of the plastic explosive sewn to his underwear, and used a syringe containing liquid acid to cause a chemical reaction. Though there appears to have been an explosion, and the lower part of his body caught on fire, the device failed to detonate properly. Passengers heard popping noises resembling firecrackers, smelled an odor, and saw the suspect's trouser leg and the wall of the plane on fire. A passenger said: "there was smoke and screaming and flames. It was scary." The explosion failed to cause much damage because the detonator was either too weak or did not make good contact with the plastic explosive. No air marshals were on the flight. Several passengers and crew members noticed the attack. One Dutch passenger, Jasper Schuringa, ran forward to tackle and overpower the suspect. Schuringa saw the suspect's trousers were open, and that he was holding a burning object between his legs. "I pulled the object from him and tried to extinguish the fire with my hands and threw it away," said Schuringa, who suffered burns to his hands. Meanwhile, flight attendants extinguished the fire with a fire extinguisher and blankets. A passenger removed the partially melted, smoking syringe from the suspect's hand.

Schuringa grabbed the suspect, and pulled him to the front of the plane. A passenger reported that the suspect, though burned "quite severely" on his leg, seemed "very calm" and like a "normal individual." Schuringa stripped off the suspect's clothes to check for other explosives, and a crew member helped handcuff the suspect. "He was staring into nothing," Schuringa said. Passengers applauded as Schuringa walked back to his seat.

The suspect was isolated from other passengers until after the plane landed. A flight attendant asked the suspect what he had in his pocket, and the suspect replied: "explosive device".

When the attack triggered a fire indicator light within the cockpit, the pilot requested rescue and law enforcement. The incident was initially declared an in-flight emergency, before being deemed an attempted terrorist attack. The plane made an emergency landing at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in the Downriver Detroit community of Romulus, Michigan, just before 1 pm local time. The airport is about 20 miles southwest of Detroit and the adjacent international border. Nick Rapagna, the secretary treasurer of the Canadian division of the Airline Pilots Association, said that the crew members decided to land in Detroit because the aircraft was in the process of descending for a landing in Detroit and that a Northwest crew base and Northwest infrastructure were located in Detroit. Kevin Psutka, president of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, stated that many airports in southern Ontario would have difficulty accepting an aircraft the size of the Airbus A330, and that if the crew landed in Canada, the crew would have had to go to "Toronto or maybe London."

While the plane itself suffered relatively little damage, the suspect suffered third-degree burns and two other passengers were injured. When the plane landed, the suspect was handed over to Customs and Border Protection officers, and taken into custody for questioning and treatment of his injuries in a secured room of the burn unit of the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, and Schuringa was also taken to the hospital. One other passenger incurred minor injuries.

FBI agents arrived at the airport after the plane landed. The plane was moved to a remote area so authorities could re-screen the plane, the passengers, and the baggage on-board. A bomb-defusing robot was first used to board the plane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) interviewed all passengers.

The substance that the suspect apparently tried to detonate was reportedly more than 80 grams (3 oz) of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a powerful plastic explosive. It is among the most powerful of explosives, in the same chemical family as nitroglycerin. The substance was analyzed at Quantico by the FBI. An FBI affidavit filed in the Eastern District of Michigan indicated that preliminary findings reflected that the device contained PETN, and that authorities found the remains of the syringe. The suspect apparently carried it onto the plane in a six-inch-long soft plastic container, possibly a condom. However, much of the packaging was lost in the fire. ABC News cited a government test indicating that 50 grams (2 oz) of PETN can blow a hole in the side of an airliner, and posted photos of the remains of Abdulmutallab's underwear and syringe.

Al-Qaeda member Richard Reid (the "Shoe Bomber") tried to detonate 50 grams of the same explosive in his shoes during an American Airlines flight in December 2001. In August 2009, after also concealing PETN in his undergarments, an al-Qaeda bomber from Yemen blew himself up near the Saudi deputy Interior Minister in charge of counter-terrorism, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Main article: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

The suspect, who had earlier arrived in Amsterdam on KLM Flight 588 from Lagos, Nigeria, is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He is the youngest of 16 children of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, one of the richest men in Africa and prominent former Nigerian Federal Commissioner for Economic Development and Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, and the son of the second of his father's two wives, who is from Yemen. He was raised initially in Kaduna, in Nigeria's Muslim-dominated north.

Abdulmutallab was reportedly strongly religious since he attended high school at the British International School in Lomé, Togo, where he was known as a devout Muslim and for preaching about Islam to his schoolmates. He visited the U.S. for the first time in 2004, and was also in Yemen for several months from 2004-05. After high school he went to University College London in 2005, where he was president of the Islamic Society in 2006 and 2007 and where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in June 2008. His last known address is a $4 million apartment on Mansfield Street, Central London, near the college, which was searched by the London Metropolitan Police.

On June 12, 2008, Abdulmutallab applied for and received from the US consulate in London a US multiple-entry visa, valid to June 12, 2010, with which he visited Houston, Texas, from August 1-17, 2008.

From January until July 2009, he attended a master's degree program at University of Wollongong in Dubai.

In May 2009, he tried to return to Britain for a six-month program at what the British authorities concluded was a fictitious school, so his visa application was denied by the United Kingdom Border Agency. His name was placed on a security list there, which BBC News said means they "cannot come into the UK, although they can pass through the country in transit and are not permanently banned".

His father agreed in July 2009 to his request to study Arabic in Sana'a, Yemen from August to December 2009. His family became concerned in August 2009 when he called them to say he had dropped the course, but was remaining there. The Washington Post reported that several days later he sent a text message to his family, severing all ties with them. The family last had contact with Abdulmutallab in October 2009, at which time he was still in Yemen. The Yemeni Foreign Ministry said that he was in Yemen from early August 2009 until early December.

His father made a report to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 19 regarding his son's "extreme religious views", and told the embassy that Abdulmutallab might be in Yemen. Acting on the report, the suspect's name was added in November 2009 to the US's 550,000-name Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, a database of the US National Counterterrorism Center. It was not added, however, to the FBI's 400,000-name Terrorist Screening Database, the terror watch list that feeds both the 14,000-name Secondary Screening Selectee list and the US's 4,000-name No Fly List. The suspect's name had come to the attention of intelligence officials many months before that, but no "derogatory information" was recorded about him. A Congressional official said that Abdulmutallab's name appeared in US reports reflecting that he had connections to both al-Qaeda and Yemen.

The day after the attempted bombing, attorney Kurt Haskell, another passenger, said he had seen a "well-dressed man" ask airline employees at Schiphol if Abdulmutallab could board Flight 253 without a passport, and suggest Abdulmutallab was a "refugee from Sudan". Haskell and his wife did not see Abdulmutallab again until the incident.

Two days after the incident, Abdulmutallab was released from the hospital in which he had been treated for burns sustained during the attempted bombing. He is in federal prison in Milan, Michiga

Representative Pete Hoekstra, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said officials in the Obama administration and officials with access to law enforcement information told him the suspect "may have been in contact with ... Anwar al-Awlaki." He went on to say that, "there are reports that he had contact and that he was recently in Yemen. The question we'll have to raise is was this imam in Yemen influential enough to get some people to attack the U.S. again."

Al-Awlaki, previously an imam in the U.S., has links to al-Qaeda, three of the 9/11 hijackers, the suspected Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, a plot to attack Fort Dix, and a Toronto terror cell. In addition, al-Awlaki regularly addresses British university Islamic groups by video links, and a forum at the East London Mosque; his videos, which discuss his Islamist theories, have circulated in England.

Hoekstra added in an interview: "The suspicion is ... that [the suspect] had contact with al-Awlaki. The belief is this is a stronger connection with al-Awlaki" than Hasan had. On December 27 Hoekstra said that credible sources told him the suspect "most likely" has ties with al-Awlaki.

Similarly, Fox News reported that Sky News sources said the suspect had links with al-Awlaki. University of Oxford historian, and professor of international relations, Mark Almond wrote on December 27 that the suspect was "on American security watch-lists because of his links with Yemeni firebrand Anwar Al Awlaki".

The Times reported on December 28 that there were "informed reports" that Abdulmutallab met al-Awlaki during his final weeks of training and indoctrination prior to the attack. The same day Fox News reported that evidence collected during searches of "flats or apartments of interest" connected to Abdulmutallab showed that he was a "big fan" of al-Awlaki, as web traffic showed he followed Awlaki's blog and website. On December 29, The Independent also reported that he was in contact with al-Awlaki.

CBS News reported on December 29 that Abdulmutallab apparently attended a talk by al-Awlaki at a London mosque (which al-Awlaki may have attended by video teleconference), and that investigators are exploring whether al-Awlaki played a role in preparing Abdulmutallab for martyrdom, or had an actual role in Abdulmutallab's attack.

Hoekstra said that Detroit may not have specifically been singled out for the attack, but the focus may have simply been a destination with many international travelers. In addition, it is possible that the attack was a test to see if such materials could pass through screening, and how much damage the blast would cause.

The attack occurred on (Western) Christmas Day, and was near the eighth anniversary of Richard Reid's attempt to blow up a plane, using PETN explosives hidden in his shoes.
Al-Qaeda involvement

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) indicated that it was responsible for the attack, and said "the plot was to avenge US attacks on the militants in Yemen" according to BBC News. The NEFA Foundation posted Al Qaeda's statement.

While in custody, Abdulmutallab told authorities he had been directed by al-Qaeda, and that he had obtained the device in Yemen, along with instructions from al-Qaeda as to how to use it and to detonate it when the plane was over US soil. He said he had contacted al-Qaeda through a radical Yemeni imam (who according to The New York Times on December 26 was not believed to be al-Awlaki) whom he had reached through the internet. The New York Times reported on December 25 that a counter-terrorism official had told them his claim "may have been aspirational". But U.S. Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, said the following day that a federal official briefed lawmakers about "strong suggestions of a Yemen-al Qaeda connection" with the suspect.
Reactions and investigations

The U.S. investigation into the incident is being managed by the FBI. It was not immediately known how the suspect managed to smuggle the explosives past airport security, and what training he received, if any. An investigation was initiated into whether the attempted attack was part of a larger, possibly worldwide plot.

President Barack Obama was notified of the incident by an aide while on a vacation in Kailua, Hawaii, and spoke with officials from the Department of Homeland Security. The White House said that Obama was actively monitoring the situation, and had instructed that all appropriate measures be taken. The White House called the attack an act of terrorism. However, Attorney General Eric Holder has not declared the incident an official terrorist act. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was also briefed, and was monitoring the incident. She initially said that "the system had worked" in preventing the attack. Several days later, however, she retracted her statement, saying that the system had in fact "failed miserably." According to Napolitano, her initial statement had referred to the passenger response to the attack, rather than the security failures that allowed the attack to happen. On 29 December, four days after the attack, US president Barack Obama issued a statement criticizing the failures in the security system that allowed explosives to enter the plane, calling the situation "totally unacceptable," and calling for flaws to be fixed immediately.vThe day after the attack, the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee both announced that they would hold hearings in January 2010 to investigate how the device passed through security, and whether further restrictions should be placed on air travel.]

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the UK would take "whatever action was necessary" in response to the attempted bombing. The day after the attack, British police sealed off Mansfield Street, in Marylebone, London, where the suspect had reportedly lived in a family-owned flat.

The incident raised concern regarding security procedures at Nigeria's major international airports in Lagos and Abuja, where tests for explosive materials are not conducted on carry-on baggage and shoes, and where bags are allowed to pass quickly through x-ray scanners.

Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Wouter Bos phoned Schuringa, a resident of Amsterdam born in 1971 who is a film director of low-budget Dutch films for an Amsterdam media company, and is credited as the assistant director for National Lampoon's Teed Off Two, on behalf of the Dutch government, conveying compliments and gratitude for his part in overpowering the suspect. Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, known for his anti-Islamic views, called Schuringa "a national hero" for his actions, and said that "he deserves a royal honor", which Wilders said he would ask the Dutch government to award.

A police spokeswoman at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol declined to comment about security procedures at the airport, where large numbers of passengers are processed en-route to North America from Africa. A Dutch military police spokesperson said that Abdulmutallab did not go through passport control, and the Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTb said that it had started a probe into where the suspect originated. A preliminary investigation, however, found no security lapses, and despite being listed as having a potential terrorism connection, the suspect had a valid US visa.

Members of the Second Chamber (Lower House) of the Dutch parliament demanded an explanation from Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin, given that the plane that took off from The Netherlands, asking especially how the suspect managed to smuggle explosives on board, despite the reportedly strict security measures at Schiphol Airport.

Delta Air Lines, which owns Northwest, said that its Detroit group did not handle security for the flight, and released a statement calling the incident a "disturbance," and saying that Delta was "cooperating fully with authorities".
Criminal charges

On December 26, a criminal complaint was filed against Abdulmutallab in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by Theodore James Peissig, an FBI special agent, charging Abdulmutallab with placing a destructive device in proximity to and attempting to destroy a US civil aircraft. The U.S. Attorney's Office assigned federal prosecutors Jonathan Tukel, chief of the counter-terrorism unit, and Eric Straus, former chief of the same unit, to the case. Abdulmutallab was arraigned and officially charged by U.S. District Court Judge Paul D. Borman later the same day at the University of Michigan Hospital. Based upon these charges, Abdulmutallab faces up to 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Borman set a detention hearing for January 8, 2010, and Abdulmutallab was assigned public defenders Miriam Seifer and Jill Price.
Effect on travel

The US government did not raise the Homeland Security Advisory System terrorist threat level, orange at the time (high risk of terrorist attacks), following the attack. However, the Department of Homeland Security said that additional security measures would be in place for the remainder of the Christmas travel period. The TSA detailed several of the measures, including a restriction on movement and access to personal items during the last hour of flight for all planes entering US airspace. The TSA also said that there would be more officers and security dogs at airports.

British Airways said that passengers flying to the US would only be permitted one carry-on item.Other European countries increased baggage screening, pat-down searches, and random searches for all passengers traveling to the US. A spokesperson for the Dutch airport used by the attacker said that heightened security would be in place for "an indefinite period". On December 28 Transport Canada announced that for several days it will not allow passengers flying to the U.S. from Canada a carry-on bag, with some exceptions, including small purses, laptop computers, and musical instruments.

On December 27, a Lufthansa flight headed for Detroit was diverted to Iceland when it was discovered to be carrying a bag from a passenger who was not on the plane. A passenger on another flight (Baltimore to New York) was detained when a firecracker was discovered in the seat he had used.
December 27 incident

On December 27, 2009, another incident occured aboard Flight 253, when the crew requested emergency assistance with a Nigerian passenger who had become "verbally disruptive". The crew questioned the passenger after other passengers expressed concern that he had been in the bathroom for over an hour. It was later determined that the man was a businessman who had fallen ill from food poisoning during the flight. A law enforcement official said the man posed no security risk to the plane. President Obama and Pope Benedict XVI were notified of the incident

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posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, December 30, 2009


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