Would-be bomber 'likely had explosives before Amsterdam'

6th January 2010, Comments 1 comment

The Nigerian who tried to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit flight on Christmas Day probably possessed the explosives before reaching Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, Dutch prosecutors said Tuesday.

The Hague--"At the moment, it appears that he was already in possession of the explosives before he reached Schiphol," the prosecutors' office said in a statement which presented initial findings of an official inquiry.

A 23-year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has been accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on 25 December after flying from Lagos to the United States, via Amsterdam.

Since the attempt to blow up the plane, all passengers flying to the US will have to undergo body scans. Schiphol, the Netherlands' main airport, handles five million passengers to and from the United States a year.

On Monday operator Schiphol Group announced that it will get 60 new full body scanners to cover all US-bound flights. The 60 are in addition to 15 full-body scanners already installed at the airport, which work on sound wave technology and which have been used for US-bound flights for the past three years.

Commenting on the botched bombing attempt on Christmas day, Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad concluded that "Total security in an open, democratic society is an illusion." Dutch paper De Volkskrant noted that "the aviation sector hasn't been the primary target of terrorists for quite some time", reminding us that attacks on "cities such as Mumbai and targets in turbulent Pakistan" have claimed many more lives. And these are onslaughts that no high-tech body scanner can combat.


AFP/ Radio Netherlands/ Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • Chris Bradley posted:

    on 6th January 2010, 10:57:25 - Reply

    Having come off of the other plane into a secure area at Schiphol, presumably he wasn't checked again, and just went straight to the plane for America. They will have to start checking everybody.