Details Emerge About Suspect & Incident On Detroit-Bound Flight

The heroism of a passenger, the privileged life of the suspect and the warning that his father gave to U.S. authorities are among the story lines this morning as more becomes known about the harrowing incident aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit Friday morning.

The top of the news, as NPR's Dina Temple-Raston writes, is that "a Nigerian man who allegedly ignited an incendiary device on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday has been charged with attempting to destroy the plane, the Justice Department says. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, was charged with trying to blow up the airliner as it approached Detroit for a landing and with placing a destructive device on the aircraft."

There were more than 270 people on board.

CNN interviewed passenger Jasper Schuringa, of Amsterdam, who is credited with grabbing the suspect, taking away a plastic syringe that may have contained explosive material, helping extinguish the flames and then subduing Abdulmutallab.

Schuringa said he heard "a pop" and about 30 seconds later smelled smoke. Then, he said, he moved toward the suspect:

Regarding the suspect, The Washington Post writes that "he grew up amid extraordinary privilege, a wealthy Nigerian banker's son who attended top international schools and had traveled to the United States. But sometime some time this year, according to relatives' accounts, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab became an enemy of the West."

The Post also reports something that NPR learned yesterday: Abdulmutallab's "was listed in a U.S. terrorism database last month after his father told State Department officials that he was worried about his son's radical beliefs and extremist connections, officials said," but his name had not been put on the so-called do-not-fly list.

The Detroit Free Press, meanwhile, says that in hindsight one of the first clues that something might be amiss aboard the flight was what other passengers say was the suspects 20-minute visit to a rest room just before the incident.

Of course, one of the other angles to the story is what it means for everyone else who flies: Tighter Security.



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