Detroit Bomber Bought Return Ticket

Nothing about ticket would have raised red flag
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2010 3:23 AM CST
This Dec. 2009 photo released by the US Marshal's Service shows terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshal's Service)
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(Newser) – Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's intention may have been to gain a one-way ticket to paradise by blowing up a Northwest Airlines flight, but the terror suspect purchased a return ticket, congressional aides were told yesterday. It had been widely reported that Abdulmutallab had bought a one-way ticket, something experts said should have raised red flags with airport security, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Abdulmutallab did buy his Amsterdam-Detroit ticket in cash, but ticket purchases in cash are relatively normal and account for a fifth of overseas flight transactions, the aides were told at a briefing yesterday. Airlines generally don't inform federal officials that passengers have bought their tickets with cash when they supply pre-flight information for preliminary screening, according to Homeland Security officials.

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