Suspect Charged With Trying to Blow Up Plane

Nigerian man reportedly had explosive PETN on the jet
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2009 2:58 PM CST
Suspect Charged With Trying to Blow Up Plane
Northwest Airlines Flight 253 sits on the runway after arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport from Amsterdam on Friday.   (AP Photo/J.P. Karas, File)

The Nigerian man in custody after yesterday's failed attempt to blow up a plane has been charged with trying to bring down the airliner. Federal authorities say Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to use a highly explosive chemical known as PETN, reports CBS. He reportedly kept the substance near his groin in a plastic pouch, maybe a condom, then tried to ignite it with a syringe filled with chemicals.

Mutallab remains in a Detroit hospital with third-degree burns after being tackled on the plane and handcuffed. Federal authorities had him on a list of people with known or suspected ties to terrorists for 2 years, reports AP. But he was not on the federal do-not-fly list. "Why he was not on the no-fly list we have to look into," Rep. Peter King tells MSNBC. (More Detroit terror incident stories.)

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