News

    European Airport Security Boosted While Britain Investigates Suspect's Past

    As the criminal investigation gets underway, there are many more questions than answers regarding the attempt to bring down an Amsterdam to Detroit airliner on Christmas Day.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Tom Rivers

    As airport security is strengthened in Europe, a search of the last known London residence of the man who has been charged with trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic jetliner has been launched. 

    As the criminal investigation got underway, there were many more questions than answers regarding the attempt to bring down an Amsterdam to Detroit airliner on Christmas Day.

    One key facet will be to determine if the man charged with the attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, acted alone or in concert with others.

    Terrorism expert Dr. Sajjan Gohel is from the London-based think tank, the Asia-Pacific Foundation.  He says finding that out will be crucial.

    "Whether this was an act of terrorism conducted by al-Qaida central or that of a lone wolf acting independently, we will have to wait and see for the investigation and what comes out of that, but we do know that al-Qaida and their affiliates have a crazed obsession in targeting the aviation industry," said Dr. Gohel.

    On Sunday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at this stage there is nothing to indicate the 23-year-old Nigerian was part of a larger plot, but much more questioning will follow.

    One effect of the attempt to blow up flight 253 is increased security at international airports in Europe.

    Something Sajjan Gohel says passengers will just have to get used to.

    "There is going to be disruption," he said.  There is going to be delays.  There is going to be greater scrutiny and in security and unfortunately we are just going to have to accept this, that this has become an inevitable part of our lives now whenever we travel abroad, especially for trans-Atlantic flights."

    Graham Simpson is the operations director at Britain's busiest hub, Heathrow Airport.

    "We are incurring some delays like all other airports are around Europe," he said.  "But we are working very hard with the airlines to minimize those delays.  Currently delays are averaging around one-hour and that is for flights that are going out to the U.S."

    Passengers are being encouraged to check ahead with their airlines, to arrive an hour earlier than normal and to bring only a single carry-on bag with them.

    Meanwhile in London, the multi-million-dollar apartment where Abdulmutallab lived during his days as mechanical engineering student at University College between 2005 and 2008 continues to be searched by police forensic teams.  Computers and hard drives in particular are being scrutinized in fine detail.

    It is part of a larger investigation aimed at trying to identify those individuals he was in contact with.  

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora