Attempt to Bomb Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day, 2009
Northwest Airlines Flight 253 After Attempted Terrorist Attack
The Islamist terror network al-Qaida apparantly made an attempt to attack the United States on Christmas Day, 2009. A Nigerian man named Abdul Mudallab attempted to ignite an explosive device onboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it neared the airport in Detroit, Michigan on December 25, 2009. Early reports indicate Mudallab claimed a connection to al-Qaida, though later reports say he denied any such connection.
Reports indicate that Mudallab, an an engineering student at University College of London, took a flight from Nigeria to the Netherlands, where he then boarded the American plane on a route to Detroit. About 20 minutes from the Detroit airport, fellow passengers smelled smoke, and noticed that Mudallab was attempting to ignite something. A passenger jumped on Mudallab, and apparently interrupted an attempt to cause a mid-air explosion. The suspect was seen with burns to his legs, and the passenger who jumped on him also is reported to have suffered burns.
Airport and airlines security worldwide was tightened in response to this attack. U.S. officials are treating this incident as an attempted terrorist attack.
Comments by Indian officials indicate that the terrorists who
attacked Mumbai this week are believed to be affiliated with the Muslim
Kashmiri group, Lashkar -e- Taiba. Lashkar is a violent
organization which seeks to separate Muslim-majority Kashmir from India.
Lashkar -e- Taiba has received major aid and training from
Pakistan's intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
in the past, and if Lashkar is indeed implicated in the Mumbai attacks,
India may feel it has to respond with military force against Pakistan.
However, regardless of which Muslim extremist group is behind the
attack, most likely one of their goals is to sabotage the recent
rapprochement between the sub-continent's two most long-standing
enemies. Pakistan's new civilian leadership has been trying to
increase peace talks with India, but this new policy does not have the
backing of Pakistan's security services, including the powerful
If India retaliates militarily against targets in Pakistan, it could
very well set off another major war between two old foes, who now both
possess nuclear weapons. This situation could get very worse,