Six months before his son was charged with trying to ignite explosives aboard a Detroit-bound plane, a banker in Nigeria warned the U.S. Embassy there of his son's Islamic extremism, a Nigerian newspaper reported Saturday.
And a key member of Congress said suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's travel patterns triggered concerns.
The would-be bomber's extremism led prominent Nigerian banker Alhaji Umaru Mutallab to report the activities of his son, Abdulmutallab, 23, to American and Nigerian officials, the newspaper This Day reported.
For about a month, Abdulmutallab has been among about 550,000 names on a list of people, the vast majority foreigners, with suspected ties to a terrorist or terror groups.
Mutallab said that his son had left Britain to travel abroad.
"I believe he might have been to Yemen, but we are investigating to determine that," Mutallab, who was chairman of First Bank of Nigeria from 1999 until this month, told the newspaper.
The thwarted attack Friday was on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam. Abdulmutallab later claimed to be a jihadist acting with the blessing of al-Qaida, but officials are trying to confirm his claims of al-Qaida training.
Abdulmutallab grew up in one of Nigeria's most affluent families, with luxury houses in Lagos and central London. He attended top international schools and traveled to the United States. But about six months ago, he renounced his lifestyle, broke all ties with his parents and disappeared, relatives said.
Federal prosecutors allege that in the Friday attack he ignited explosives under his clothes. He was subdued and arrested. Passengers who saw him said his legs were burned.
One passenger on the jet, Shama Chopra of Montreal, told The Canadian Press that Abdulmutallab was one of the last to board the plane and walked on with his hands on his forehead, seemingly lost in thought.
Abdulmutallab was arraigned from his wheelchair Saturday in a hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. He smiled when he was wheeled into a conference room. His left thumb and right wrist were bandaged, and part of the skin on the thumb was burned off. He responded to the judge's questions in English. He was charged with willfully attempting to destroy or wreck an aircraft, and placing a destructive device in the plane.
Officials have said that Abdulmutallab had come to the attention of U.S. officials at least several weeks ago, but the information wasn't specific enough to raise alarms. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said Abdulmutallab is "making big claims" about meeting with people in Yemen, but officials have found no concrete supporting evidence.
With wire reports