January 25, 2010
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS INVESTIGATION INTO LIFE OF CHRISTMAS DAY BOMB SUSPECT
UNCOVERS DETAILS OF TIME SPENT AS STUDENT IN LONDON,
INCLUDING CONNECTION TO TWO SUSPECTED TERRORISTS

REPORT FROM NPR'S DINA TEMPLE-RASTON AIRING TODAY
ON MORNING EDITION; TEXT AND AUDIO AT NPR.ORG

January 25, 2010; Washington, D.C. - An NPR News Investigation into the life of Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Flight on Christmas Day, has uncovered new details about the three years he spent as a student in London and his connections to the city's jihadi subculture. NPR correspondent Dina Temple-Raston reports that British and U.S. intelligence authorities have linked Abdulmatallab to two suspected terrorists -- offering insight into how and when the suspected bomber became radicalized.

The report is airing today on Morning Edition; a web story and full audio are available at: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122868637 Temple-Raston's report is part of an ongoing NPR News Investigation into Abdulmatallab's life leading up to his alleged terrorism attempt last month.

Reporting from London, Temple-Raston says security officials have learned that Abdulmatallab had contact with two suspected terrorists while he was a student at the prestigious University College London. The first, Waheed Zaman, is thought to be part of a group accused of planning a major attack on passenger flights bound for the U.S. and Canada in 2006 - their plan is the reason why liquids are limited to 3 oz. on planes. Officials tell NPR that Abdulmatallab was also in contact with a second possible terrorist, arrested two years ago in a plot to kidnap and behead at British Muslim soldier.

Temple-Raston reports that while the extent of these relationships are unknown, security officials say the connections are meaningful because they may shed light on when Abdulmatallab was transformed from radical student to potential terrorist. Her complete report is at: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122868637

All excerpts must be credited to "NPR News." Television usage must include on-screen chyron to "NPR News" with NPR logo.

Morning Edition, the two-hour newsmagazine airing weekdays and hosted by Steve Inskeep in Washington, D.C. and Renée Montagne from NPR West in Culver City, Calif., is public radio's most listened-to program with 13.2 million weekly listeners. For local stations and broadcast times, visit npr.org/stations