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Questions surrounding attempted terrorist attack

What is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab accused of and where is he now?

He’s accused of igniting an explosive device hidden in his clothes to blow up a flying jet plane. The explosion injured him. He’s recovering and is in custody at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, where he was arraigned yesterday afternoon in a wheelchair before a federal judge.

Did Abdulmutallab act alone, or is he connected to al-Qaida or other terrorist groups?

The suspect reportedly told authorities he was acting on orders from al-Qaida. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Abdulmutallab acknowledged he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. He was on a federal list of about 550,000 names containing people who have terrorist ties, though he wasn’t on the more strict no-fly list, which would have banned him from flying into the U.S.

What explosive is Abdulmutallab accused of using?

The chemical, pentaerythritol, is highly explosive. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said if the plan worked correctly, “the plane would have come down.”

How did Abdulmutallab plan on detonating the explosive?

He used a syringe and an explosive chemical hidden under his clothes to set a fire. The explosive reportedly was in a device sewn into his underwear.

How did Abdulmutallab get on the plane undetected?

He went through a metal detector, which doesn’t detect all chemical explosives.


What changes have aviation authorities made since the incident?

To explode the device, according to a federal complaint, Abdulmutallab went into the bathroom for 20 minutes then put a blanket over himself when he returned to his seat. As a result, some airlines are now banning passengers from leaving their seats during the final hour of the flight and prohibiting them from having anything on their laps during this time period.

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