No Security Threat in New Incident on US Plane

Unruly passenger detained on another flight that landed in Detroit

A U.S. law enforcement official says an unruly passenger was detained Sunday when a Northwest Airlines flight landed in Detroit, Michigan, but he was later declared as not a security threat.

The plane was on the same route and carried the same flight number as one on Friday, when a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 just before landing.

In the latest incident, security personnel arrested a passenger upon landing Sunday because he was verbally abusive to the flight crew and had locked himself in the airplane bathroom for a long time.

The pilot radioed for emergency help. Passengers were evacuated and dogs sniffed the luggage which was spread out on the tarmac.

A law enforcement official tells news agencies that the passenger turned out to be a businessman who got sick during the flight.

Airline security had been tightened since Friday, when authorities say 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to light an explosive substance that had been strapped to his body. He is now under arrest.

President Barack Obama issued a statement from his vacation in Hawaii Sunday, saying he had been notified of the new incident and stressed the importance of heightened security measures for air travel.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told (U.S. news network) CNN there is "no indication" that Friday's attempted attack was part of a larger terrorist plot.

In a separate interview with ABC News, Napolitano said it would be inappropriate for her to speculate on whether the suspect, 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had ties to al-Qaida as he has claimed.

The suspect is listed in a U.S. government intelligence database. But he was not on the "no-fly list" that would ban him from boarding flights headed to the U.S.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told ABC the incident has prompted officials to review procedures for placing potential terrorists on watch lists, and reevaluate security systems at airports.

A preliminary analysis by the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the suspect was trying to detonate an explosive called PETN. Instead of exploding, the device started a fire and badly burned Abdulmutallab's leg. He was overpowered and detained by other passengers and crew members.

Officials say Abdulmutallab told them he had received training for the attack from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen.

Charges were read against him Saturday in a Michigan hospital where he is being treated for burns.

Officials say Abdulmutallab began his trip in Nigeria. But the Nigerian government says the suspect had been living outside the country for some time.

Nigeria's information minister (Dora Akunyili) told reporters Sunday that Abdulmutallab snuck into the country Thursday, the day before the attack, and left the same day.

Nigerian officials say they have launched their own probe into the incident, and that they are working with U.S. investigators.

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs