Web Posts Suggest Terror Suspect was Lonely, Depressed
Over 300 postings on Islamic forum describe experience as a Muslim, reveal strong feelings of isolation
Last updated on: December 29, 2009 9:19 AM
Internet postings believed to have been written by the Nigerian man accused of trying to bomb a U.S. airliner suggest that he was lonely and depressed.
In more than 300 postings on an Islamic forum, beginning in 2005, a user named "Farouk1986" describes his experience as a Muslim and reveals strong feelings of isolation. In one January 2005 post, he wrote that he had no one to speak to, no one to consult and no one to support him. He said he felt lonely and depressed and did not know what to do.
Officials have not confirmed that the postings were written by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, but details from the writings match his personal history and the username itself corresponds with his middle name and birth year.
The Washington Post was the first to report on the postings.
In the writings, the user states that he is from Nigeria, the 23-year-old suspect's home nation.
"Farouk1986" also writes of having attended a British boarding school in the West African nation of Togo, as Abdulmutallab did. In posts from 2005, he said he was writing from Yemen, where Abdulmutallab is said to have lived for two different periods -- between 2004 and 2005 and from August to December of this year.
Abdulmutallab says he was trained by al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. He is charged with trying to destroy a Northwest Airlines jet traveling on Christmas Day from Amsterdam to Detroit. Authorities say he unsuccessfully tried to set off explosives hidden in his underwear as the plane was about to land.
In an interview with VOA, a Somali man who was on the flight said he saw what looked like a fight break out at the front of the plane and that flames and smoke were coming from the same direction. He said passengers seated near the would-be bomber held on to him while flight attendants worked to put out the fire.