Arrested Passenger "No Threat"
Authorities say a Nigerian man who locked himself in the bathroom of Northwest Flight 253 on Sunday, two days after the same Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight was the target of a bombing attempt, apparently had a good reason to be there. The unidentified businessman reportedly became ill on the flight and had made several trips to the lav, arousing the suspicion of perhaps twitchier-than-usual passengers and crew. When the door didn't open for about an hour on his last visit, crew broke down the door and dragged him out, which might also explain his less than courteous response to them. After reporting a "disruptive passenger" the crew made a hurried landing and the man was arrested. The rest of the passengers and their bags were rescreened and finally it was determined there was no danger. The suspect in Friday's bombing attempt is alleged to have put together components of the device in the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man charged with trying to bomb Friday's flight, was released from hospital after being treated for burns from his allegedly fizzled attempt to bring down the A330. Government officials made the rounds of the Sunday newstalk shows assuring a full investigation into how Abdulmutallab allegedly got a container of explosive powder and syringe full of liquid aboard the Christmas Day flight. He is alleged to have tried to detonate the mixture as the flight descended to Detroit's Metropolitan Airport about noon on Christmas Day. Passengers heard popping sounds and at least one passenger jumped the man, a 23-year-old Nigerian with reported Al Qaida links who later told authorities he wanted to set off the bomb over the U.S. He has since told investigators that bomb experts in Yemen put the device together and trained him in its use. He was among 278 passengers aboard Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. U.S. authorities stepped up air travel security after Friday's incident. The security level remains at orange, however.