Nigerian Banker Reported Son to US Embassy

Elder Mutallab grew suspicious of son's extremism

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 26, 2009 11:40 AM CST

(Newser) – A prominent banker in Nigeria says the thwarted terrorist on the jet bound for Detroit is his son. The banker, who is meeting today with security officials, tells the Nigerian newspaper This Day that he reported his son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to the US Embassy 6 months ago when he grew suspicious of the 23-year-old's growing extremism. The elder Mutallab is said to be both devastated by the news and surprised his son was allowed to travel to the US.

The younger Mutallab was once an engineering student at University College in London who later relocated to Dubai, says the newspaper. He had been known to preach about Islam to classmates even back in his days of secondary school. "I believe he might have been to Yemen, but we are investigating to determine that," the father tells AP. The elder Mutallab is married to a woman of Yemeni descent, but it's not clear if she is the suspect's mother. Authorities in London are searching a home owned by the family there.

This picture provided by J.P. Karas shows Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on the runway after arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport from Amsterdam on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009.   (J.P. Karas)
Police enter a building during a search in London Saturday related to the thwarted airplane bomb.   (AP Photo/ Lewis Whyld/PA)
Unidentified law enforcement officials leave the international arrival gates at the Detroit metropolitan airport in Romulus, Mich., Friday, Dec. 25, 2009.   (Carlos Osorio)
Passengers wait at the arrivals gate at the international terminal at the Detroit metropolitan airport in Romulus, Mich., Friday, Dec. 25, 2009.   (Carlos Osorio)
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