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Rediff.com  » News » Plane bombing suspect had "sneaked" into Nigeria, says minister

Plane bombing suspect had "sneaked" into Nigeria, says minister

December 28, 2009 13:20 IST
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian who allegedly tried to blow up a US plane, had "sneaked" into Nigeria on December 24, a day ahead of the failed terror bid, country's information minister has said. "The man in question had lived outside the country for a while. He sneaked into Nigeria on December 24, 2009 and left the same day," Dora Akunyili, Nigerian information minister said.

23-year-old Abdulmutallab had tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight 253, an Airbus 330, carrying 278 passengers from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. "Nigerian security agencies are working hand in hand with international security agencies on this matter," she said.

The Minister added the suspects father, Umar Mutallab, who is a "responsible and respected Nigerian" had already reported his concern about his son's activities to the relevant American authorities. "The father has already expressed deep shock and regrets over the son's actions," she said.

Akunyili insisted that country's airports were safe and have passed through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security audits and the American Transportation security administration audit in November. "However in the light of new developments, we have reinforced our security systems at all airports," she added.

Meanwhile, Muslim group across the country today condemned the alleged attack by a Nigerian youth to blow up a US plane as "callous" and "inhuman". "All attacks that threaten peace or are aimed at civilian targets, even in a state of war, are terrorism and callous and complete violation of the teachings of Islam," Diru Kamor, Director, Muslim Public Affairs Centre director told PTI.

"We repudiate anyone or any group that plans or carries out a terrorist act and we welcome early actions by law enforcement authorities against credible threats to the safety of the travelling public," he added.The group called on Muslims to rally together to "positively and constructively intervene with the youth to make sure they have a good understanding of Islam so that no extremists will play upon them."