Somali and Nigerian Explosives Not the Same

Update: The Somali police freed the suspect weeks ago. Via the AP, 12/31/09:
Somali Police Commissioner Gen. Ali Hassan Loyan said a Somali court released the suspect Dec. 12 after ruling that officials hadn't demonstrated he intended to commit a crime. The man, whose name has not been released, said the chemicals were for processing camera film.

Are the foiled airplane bomb attempts of Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab last week in Detroit and the one last month in Somalia the same? The tools may have been the same -- liquid, a syringe and powdered material -- but the explosives apparently weren't:

In the Somali's attempt there were three parts with powders and liquids: [More...]

The suspect, Abdi Hassan Abdi, tried to board a Daallo Airlines flight with a plastic bag containing 600 grams of ammonium nitrate and half a liter of concentrated sulfuric acid in a plastic bottle, according to Wafula Waminyinyi, the deputy special representative for the African Union Mission for Somalia. Waminyinyi said that Abdi also had approximately 5 milliliters of an unidentified liquid in a syringe that he tried to carry on board.

In Abdulmutallab's case, the device was two parts and contained PETN:

Tests conducted on a syringe, which investigators believe was part of the device, detected traces of ethylene glycol, which is commercially available in coolants and antifreeze products, according to an FBI summary containing details of the probe reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The syringe is believed to have been used to detonate 76 grams of the explosive PETN.

The Somali was 35 years old, much older than Abdulmutallab. It would be interesting to see how active AQAP is in Somalia. Somalia AQ has often been tied to the al-Shabab group. The Al-Shabab group has its own media arm, called Al-Kataib. It's latest claimed attack was a December 12, 2009 grenade attack in Mogadishu which wounded two Somali MPs.

I'll bet the Somali and Detroit attempts were not related.

The Detroit case is more similar to the assassination attempt on Saudi prince Mohammad bin Naif, which AQAP also took credit for than it is the Somali case.

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