White House Says Detroit Plane Incident a Terrorism Attempt

northwest-airlines1By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON –Federal authorities were investigating an incident on Christmas day in which a Nigerian man tried to blow up  Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit by igniting a powdery substance during the plane’s  descent, according to media reports.

The New York Times reported that the White House said it believed the incident was  an act of terrorism. The Times reported that a spokeswoman for Delta, which now owns Northwest Airlines, said there was a commotion and some minor injuries and other media reports that the device failed to go off and the man was subdued by passengers.

ABC News reported that the suspect, Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, told authorities that he was acting at the direction of al Qaeda.

An official was questioning the credibility of the statement, ABC reported.

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