A 23-year-old Nigerian man named Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, apparently tried to light a powdery substance aboard a Northwest Airlines flight before landing in Detroit this afternoon. Initial reports said that a man had tried to light either firecrackers or fireworks but it now appears that it could have been much worse.
There are rumors circulating on CNN and other news networks that he could have terrorist ties.
A passenger ignited fireworks Friday at the end of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, a Delta Air Lines spokeswoman said.
The passenger was immediately subdued, according to Susan Elliott, spokeswoman for Delta, Northwest’s parent company. The incident resulted in some minor injuries, Elliott said.
A passenger was later placed in custody, the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement.
President Obama, who is spending the holidays in his home state of Hawaii, was briefed on the incident during a secure phone call with aides and “instructed that all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said. The president made no changes to his schedule, Burton said.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Friday saying that air passengers “may notice additional screening measures put into place to ensure the safety of the traveling public on domestic and international flights.”