Firecracker Story Was Really Terrorist Attempt to Blow Up Plane (Maybe)

The media botched this one again. First, this was just a guy who set off a firecracker on an airplane. No act of terror. I heard that on several reports.

Later, we learned more. Turns out the media was once again trying to give us the definitive report before they actually had all the facts, on the hope that they would be right.

Well, it would appear that this was an act of terror. I waited a while to blog on this because the story changed so often.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria, who said he was acting on al-Qaida’s instructions, set off an explosive device Friday in a failed terrorist attack on the plane as it was landing in Detroit, federal officials said.

Flight 253 with 278 passengers aboard was 20 minutes from the airport when it sounded like a firecracker had exploded, witnesses said. One passenger jumped over others and tried to subdue the man. Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to a front row seat with his pants cut off and his legs burned.

The White House said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel, but were not specified.

Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Others had slightly different spellings.

One law enforcement source said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil.

In the days ahead, we’ll learn more. Please remember that the media reports before they actually know what’s going on.

I have a friend flying from Ireland to Chicago today. Glad he wasn’t on this flight. Hope he made it home all right.

(That’s for you, Mike.)