Jet Passenger Tried to Ignite Powder

Nigerian claims ties to al-Qaeda; plane lands safely in Detroit
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2009 2:09 PM CST
Updated Dec 25, 2009 4:01 PM CST
A file photo of a Northwest jet.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

(Newser) – Authorities have taken a Nigerian man into custody after he reportedly tried to ignite a powdery substance—initially reported as firecrackers—aboard a Northwest jet that landed in Detroit from Amsterdam today. The man told federal officials he had links to al-Qaeda and wanted to blow up a plane over the US, reports ABC News, though his credibility is in question. He and two others on the plane were injured in the incident, and the 23-year-old suspect is being treated for minor burns.

"The subject is claiming to have extremist affiliation and that the device was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used," said a federal bulletin obtained by ABC. A counter-terrorism official tells NBC that the plane's crew subdued the man when he attempted to light the powder as they were preparing to land. The suspect told authorities that he had the powder taped to his leg and tried to ignite it with a syringe of chemicals.

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