Yemen: Abdulmutallab Got Explosives at Nigeria Airport

A senior Yemeni official today in explaining Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's movements, says he got the explosive device during his layover in Lagos, Nigeria when changing planes, not in Yemen. His layover, they have previously said, was 35 minutes.

But the official, Rashad al-Alimi, the deputy prime minister for national security and defense, cited Yemeni investigations and said that the Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, had acquired the explosives used in the failed attack not in Yemen, which he left on Dec. 4, but in Nigeria, where he changed planes at the Lagos airport on Dec. 24, boarding a flight to Amsterdam and then Detroit.

There are some inconsistencies. And where was he between December 4 and December 24? Ghana says he arrived there on December 9, from Ethiopia. They believe he had a 4 hour lay-over in Nigeria. (This can't be too hard to check.)

And more speculation on the role of cleric al Awlaki.

< Salazar Won't Run for Governor, Will Back Hickenlooper | President Obama's Press Conference on Failed Xmas Day Attack >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    How about that. (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 04:13:08 PM EST
    I guess we're not going to war with Yemen after all.

    But, London better be careful. (none / 0) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 05:11:44 PM EST
    Update (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 09:27:29 AM EST
    Yemen says bombing suspect may have met with radical cleric

    Yemen on Thursday provided the most comprehensive account yet of contacts between al-Qaida and the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner, saying he may have met with a radical U.S.-born cleric who previously had contact with the alleged Fort Hood shooter.

    In the weeks before the attempted airliner attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab met with al-Qaida operatives in a remote mountainous region that was later hit in an airstrike that targeted a gathering of the group's top leaders, Yemen's deputy prime minister said.

    The account by Rashad al-Alimi, who oversees security issues in the government, filled in some of the blanks in Abdulmutallab's movements before his failed attempt to detonate explosives on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit.

    But al-Alimi also raised new questions. He contended that Abdulmutallab was recruited by al-Qaida in Britain and that the 23-year-old received the explosives in Nigeria. U.S. officials say Abdulmutallab told FBI investigators that al-Qaida operatives in Yemen gave him the material and trained him in how to use it.

    Abdulmutallab came to Yemen in August, ostensibly to study Arabic at a San'a language institute where he previously studied from 2004-05. But he disappeared in September, and his whereabouts were unknown until he left the country Dec. 4.

    Al-Alimi said that at some point during that period, the Nigerian met with al-Qaida in a sparsely populated area of Shabwa province amid high mountains some 200 miles southeast of the capital.

    Among those he may have met with was the U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has also been linked to the gunman who killed 13 people at Fort Hood in November.

    "There is no doubt that he met and had contacts with al-Qaida elements in Shabwa ... perhaps with al-Awlaki," al-Alimi told reporters.