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Plane bombing suspect had "sneaked" into Nigeria: Minister

Last Updated: Monday, December 28, 2009 - 14:37

Abuja: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian
who allegedly tried to blow up a US plane, had "sneaked" into
Nigeria on December 24, a day ahead of the failed terror bid,
country`s information minister has said .

"The man in question had lived outside the country for a
while. He sneaked into Nigeria on December 24, 2009 and left
the same day," Dora Akunyili, Nigerian information minister

23-year-old Abdulmutallab had tried to blow up a
Northwest Airlines flight 253, an Airbus 330, carrying
278 passengers from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.

"Nigerian security agencies are working hand in hand with
international security agencies on this matter," she said.

The Minister added the suspects father, Umar Mutallab,
who is a "responsible and respected Nigerian" had already
reported his concern about his son`s activities to the
relevant American authorities.

"The father has already expressed deep shock and regrets
over the son`s actions," she said.

Akunyili insisted that country`s airports were safe and
have passed through the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) security audita and the American
Transportation security administration audit in November.

"However in the light of new developments, we have
reinforced our security systems at all airports," she added.
Meanwhile, Muslim group across the country today
condemned the alleged attack by a Nigerian youth to blow up a
US plane as "callous" and "inhuman".

"All attacks that threaten peace or are aimed at civilian
targets, even in a state of war, are terrorism and callous and
complete violation of the teachings of Islam," Diru Kamor,
Director, Muslim Public Affairs Centre director said to a news agency.

"We repudiate anyone or any group that plans or carries
out a terrorist act and we welcome early actions by law
enforcement authorities against credible threats to the safety
of the travelling public," he added.

The group called on Muslims to rally together to
"positively and constructively intervene with the youth to
make sure they have a good understanding of Islam so that no
extremists will play upon them."


First Published: Monday, December 28, 2009 - 14:37
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