That’s what ABC is reporting:
The plot to blow up an American passenger jet over Detroit was organized and launched by al Qaeda leaders in Yemen who apparently sewed bomb materials into the suspect’s underwear before sending him on his mission, federal authorities tell ABC News.
At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey speculates about what this will mean for air travelers. We can’t wear our shoes through security because of the shoe bomber, and we can’t take liquids on the airplane because of the British explosives plot. Wasn’t there once an airline where the passengers were supposed to fly naked?
Early accounts gave the impression (to me, anyway) that Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab’s attempt at terrorism may have been an amateurish one that was doomed to fail. Apparently that was not the case:
Investigators say the suspect had more than 80 grams of PETN, a compound related to nitro-glycerin used by the military. The so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, had only about 50 grams kin his failed attempt in 2001 to blow up a U.S.-bound jet. Yesterday’s bomb failed because the detonator may have been too small or was not in “proper contact” with the explosive material, investigators told ABC News.
So this was a serious terrorist attack. Byron York points out that the White House, perhaps stung by public reaction to its moronic “we cannot fully know” approach to the Ft. Hood massacre, is handling this incident quite differently. No more talk about not “jumping to conclusions” about jihad.
UPDATE: A criminal complaint has already been filed; you can read it here. An excerpt:
In general, those individuals who were on the flight and who were able to see ABDULMUTALLAB report that prior to the incident, ABDULMUTALLAB went to the bathroom for approximately twenty minutes. Upon returning to his seat, ABDULMUTALLAB stated that his stomach was upset, and he pulled a blanket over himself. Passengers then heard popping noises similar to firecrackers, smelled an odor, and some observed ABDULMUTALLAB’s pants leg and the wall of the airplane on fire. Passengers and crew then subdued ABDULMUTALLAB and used blankets and fire extinguishers to put out the flames. One flight attendant stated that she asked ABDULMUTALLAB what he had had in his pocket, and he replied “explosive device.” A passenger stated that he observed ABDULMUTALLAB holding what appeared to be a partially melted syringe, which was smoking. The passenger took the syringe from ABDULMUTALLAB, shook it to stop it from smoking, and threw it to the floor of the aircraft.
FURTHER UPDATE: This photo, presumably from a passenger’s cell phone, was taken while the would-be terrorist was being led from the airplane:
It appears that CNN blurred the faces of the law enforcement personnel involved in the arrest, presumably so that they and their families would not experience retaliation from devotees of the religion of peace. Does Barack Obama know about this?
ONE MORE UPDATE: In the AP story quoted by Byron York above, the White House says that “Obama’s military aide told the president about an incident aboard a plane as it was landing in Detroit just after 9 a.m. here [in Hawaii].” Hmm. The Delta flight landed in Detroit at 12:01 local time. Honolulu is five hours behind Detroit, so “just after 9 a.m.” in Hawaii would be after 2 p.m. in Detroit. That is, two hours or more after the flight landed, not “as it was landing.” Just another bit of routine dishonesty from the Obama administration, trying to make the President look relevant when he isn’t.