A Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria, who said he was acting on al-Qaida's instructions, tried to set off an explosive device Friday in a failed terrorist attack on the plane as it was landing in Detroit, federal officials said. Instead of bringing down the plane, he gave himself third-degree burns.
The suspect has been identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab.
According to the New York Times, "a senior Department of Homeland Security official said that the materials Mr. Abdulmutallab had on him were 'more incendiary than explosive,' and that he had tried to ignite them to cause a fire as the airline began to land.
"Mr. Abdulmutallab told law enforcement authorities, the official said, that he had had explosive powder taped to his leg and that he had mixed it with chemicals held in a syringe. A federal counterterrorism official who asked not to be identified said Mr. Abdulmutallab was apparently in a government law enforcement-intelligence database, but it is not clear what extremist group or individuals he might be linked to."
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