Washington: Homeland Security officials say
they had flagged the suspect in the Christmas Day airline
bombing attempt as someone who should go through additional
security when he landed in the United States.
In a statement early today, the department said Umar
Farouk Abdulmutallab's potential ties to extremists came up in
a routine check of passengers already en route to the United
States from overseas.
Customs and Border Protection officials screen passengers
against terrorist watch lists before international flights
leave for the US, then check names against a different
database while the flight is in the air. It was during this
second check that officials flagged the alleged bomber.
The 23-year-old Nigerian man with ties to al-Qaida is
charged with trying to detonate an explosive device aboard a
Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Dec.
First Published: Thursday, January 07, 2010, 23:26