Posted Jan 06, 2010 11:17 pm CST
A federal grand jury in Michigan today indicted a Nigerian man on charges that he tried to blow up a Detroit-bound commercial airline flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day. Authorities say he carried an explosive onto the plane in his underwear but failed to successfully ignite it.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, faces six counts, the most serious of which is attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, reports the Detroit Free Press.
If convicted of that crime, he faces a potential life prison sentence. Because no one was killed in the alleged attack, which passengers reportedly foiled after noticing that Abdulmutallab’s pant leg was in flames, he would not be eligible for the death penalty.
A global investigation is ongoing, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement, and it will be pursued wherever it leads. The federal government has special jurisdiction of aircraft within or bound for the United States, the newspaper notes.
Abdulmutallab is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
The alleged attack has resulted in increased security measures at airports in this country and elsewhere, as well as concern and anger about apparent security lapses concerning Abdulmutallab.
Al Jazeera: “US indicts bomb plot suspect”
Associated Press: “Nigerian Indicted in Terrorist Plot”
BBC News: “US charges Nigerian suspect over plane bomb plot “
Reuters: “Nigerian indicted in U.S. for airline bomb plot”
The Star (Toronto): “Airline bomb plot: ‘We dodged a bullet, but just barely’ “
Wall Street Journal: “Nigerian Indicted in Christmas Plot “