Alarm bells that went unheeded: Even bomber’s own father named him as a fanatic

President Obama ordered an urgent review of airline security yesterday after it was revealed that U.S. authorities had known of the bomber’s terrorist connections for more than a month.

Former London student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was added to an American counter-terrorism watch list in November.

The alarm was raised by the 23-year-old Nigerian’s father, who was so worried about his son’s extremist behaviour that he alerted U.S. officials.

His son is said to have told his family he wanted to ‘break’ from them and gone to study in Yemen.

His father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, was so concerned he went to Yemen to try to persuade his son to return to Nigeria.

When he failed, he carried out further inquiries and is said to have discovered that he was mixing with radicals who were close to a number of organisations linked to terrorism.

Despite this, Abdulmutallab, a former engineering student at University College, London, was still allowed to board Detroit-bound Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam with an explosive device strapped to his body.

The known radical’s family released a statement today, confirming that he had vanished while studying abroad.

They said his father contacted Nigerian security services two months ago after his ‘disappearance and stoppage of communications’.

Mr Mutallab then turned to foreign security agencies for ‘their assistance to find and return him home’, the statement added.

It said: ‘It was while we were waiting for the outcome of their investigation that we arose to the shocking news of that day.’

Question marks over why Abdulmutallab was allowed to evade security grew yesterday as it became clear just how close he came to downing the transatlantic jet carrying 278 passengers.

Alarm bells should have been set off by the fact that he bought a ticket in cash – paying $2,831 (£1,775) – a week ago at the KLM office in Accra, Ghana, to fly from Lagos to Detroit via Schiphol, and travelled without any checked-in luggage.

The combination of buying in a third country, paying cash and having no luggage should have been suspicious.

step by step

Mr Obama wants to know how he was allowed to board the plane and has also ordered a review of security watch-lists after it emerged the Nigerian had been placed on one as a terror risk.


~ by Scat on December 31, 2009.

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