2009年12月29日火曜日

過激宗派が布教

「貢物は生命」という宗教の布教が進む。
 デルタ機爆破テロ未遂事件で、ウマル・ファルーク・アブドゥルム
タラブ容疑者の両親が、息子を原理主義者から離そうと必死に試みていた
ことが分かった。

富裕層で高学歴の成人が、「貢物は生命」という過激宗派に染まった。
報道からすると留学先で、接触を持ったようだ。
2008年の英国留学からドバイへ語学留学と言うことだが、過激宗派との
接触は、英国留学時代からあった可能性がある。ドバイでさらに信仰を
深めたのかもしれない。
2005年から2008年まで、英国の大学のイスラム協会理事長に就任して
いたようだが、2007-2009にかけて英国では、頻繁に過激宗派が事件を
起こし報道されていた記憶がある。英国のこれら事件で、興味を引いた
のだろうか。

恵まれた環境で育った人は、障害に憧れる傾向があるようで、
「風にあたる」だけで、信仰を持つこともあるようだ。
日本でも恵まれた環境で育った人が、テロ宗教を信仰し、テロ行為を行
ない、行為に対して、判決を受けている。
子息の更生と親の正当性への行為により、親は批判を受けにくくなるが、
日本で同様のことをした場合、今までの報道から想像すると、親の責任と
責任放棄等の多面から問題視されることが考えられる。

近頃、関空では近赤外線の技術を応用した検地装置が実証試験された。
飲料とそれ以外を見分ける方式のようだが、今回のような経緯の場合でも
判別できるのだろうか。
監視施設に対して、企業からの顔認識装置、指紋判別装置等の生体監視
識別装置やX線による検査装置の売込みが増加するのだろう。


Terror Probe Continues CBS


---容疑者両親の思い拒む 米爆破未遂 原理主義者と引き離さねば…---
2009年12月28日 夕刊
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/world/news/CK2009122802000192.html

 【ロンドン=星浩】デルタ機爆破テロ未遂事件で、訴追されたナイジェリア人のウマル・ファルーク・アブドゥルムタラブ容疑者(23)の両親が、息子を原理主義者から離そうと必死に試みていたことが分かった。英BBC放送が伝えた。
 同放送が親族らへの取材を基に伝えたところでは、父親でナイジェリア屈指の実業家でもあるウマル・ムタラブさん(70)は、二〇〇八年にロンドンでの留学を終えたアブドゥルムタラブ容疑者を、中東ドバイにあるビジネススクールに行かせた。
 アラビア語を学びたいという本人の意思を尊重しつつ、生活環境を大きく変え原理主義から離そうという試みだったが、容疑者はイエメンで学びたいことができたと言って学業を放棄。母親は何とか考え直すよう諭したが、「新しい人生を見つけたので、二度と接触するな」と言われてしまった。
 それでも父親のウマルさんは政界にも人脈が広い有力者らしく、米国やナイジェリア、サウジアラビア当局にも協力を求め、イエメンから息子を連れ戻そうと試みたという。
 結局、容疑者はイエメンからエチオピア、ガーナを経由し、ナイジェリアに密入国してから、飛行機で米国に向かったとされる。ウマルさんは今年六月には、米当局に息子の危険思想について情報提供までしたにもかかわらず、事件を防ぎきれなかったことに衝撃と失望を感じているという。


---米テロ未遂の爆発物、機体に穴開けるに十分な量---
2009年12月28日13時46分 読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/world/news/20091228-OYT1T00649.htm

 【ニューヨーク=吉形祐司】米ノースウエスト航空機で起きたテロ未遂事件で、CNN(電子版)は27日、捜査状況を知る関係者の話として、訴追されたナイジェリア人のウマル・ファルーク・アブドゥルムタッラブ容疑者(23)が使おうとしていた爆発物は同機の機体に穴をあけるのに十分な量だったと報じた。
 米連邦捜査局(FBI)によると、機内から高性能爆薬のPETNが検出され、詳細な分析が行われている。爆薬の量は明らかにされていない。
 一方、テロを起こそうとしてやけどを負い、ミシガン州内の病院に入院していた同容疑者は27日、退院して拘置施設に移された。


---焦点:米機爆破未遂、航空業界の弱点突く過激派の狙い---
2009年12月28日
http://www.asahi.com/international/reuters/RTR200912280031.html

 [ロンドン 26日 ロイター] クリスマスに発生した米航空機の爆破未遂事件は、壊滅的損害を狙って常に警備態勢の裏をかこうとする過激派武装勢力に対して、航空業界が絶えず警戒を続ける必要があることを浮き彫りにした。
 航空機は武装勢力にとって格好の標的であることから、警備には常に一歩進んだ技術革新が必要になるが、絶え間ない技術革新を持ってしても、航空機利用者を完全に守ることは他の輸送手段に比べて難しくなっている。
 こうした状況を「競争だ」と語るのは、ロンドンの警備会社Janusian Securityのヘンリー・ウィルキンソン氏。同氏は武装勢力が航空警備の弱点を当然ながら調べ上げていることを指摘し、「今回の事件を受けた警備強化が実行されれば、テロリスト側もそれを回避する策を考え出すだろう」と言う。
 この事件では、アルカイダと関連があるとみられるナイジェリア人のウマル・ファルーク・アブドルムタラブ容疑者が25日、アムステルダム発デトロイト行きのデルタ航空機内で爆発装置を作動させようとし、逮捕・訴追された。
<危険な物質>
 専門家によると、航空業界の警備態勢は近年進歩しているが、爆発物を体内に隠したり、体に縛り付けたりする攻撃を常に防御するための技術は広く普及していないという。
 オランダのテロ対策機関であるNCTbは、アブドルムタラブ容疑者がアムステルダムのスキポール空港でセキュリティーチェックをパスしたものの、危険物質が機内に持ち込まれた可能性は否定できないと発表。「特に、金属探知機といった現在の警備技術では発見するのが難しい物質」が持ち込まれたかもしれないという。
 専門家は、アブドルムタラブ容疑者が爆発装置を機内に持ち込んだ方法と、危険人物を監視するテロ対策機関が同容疑者についてどれだけ情報を得ていたのかをはっきりさせることが重要としている。
 航空輸送会社Jane's Aviationのクリス・イェーツ氏は、「今回の事件は、目的を果たそうとする組織や個人が、航空業界の弱点をどのように探り続けているかを示す例だ」と語る。
 イェーツ氏や専門家らは、搭乗前のセキュリティゲートで警報が鳴らなければ、簡単かつ効果の高い身体検査を警備員が行う可能性も少なくなるとも話す。
 過激派が、航空機を標的リストの上位に置き、成功に向けて最大限に工夫を凝らすには大きな理由がある。民間航空機を爆破の標的に選ぶだけで、自分たちの大きな宣伝となるからだ。それが国際線であれば、ニュースやそれに伴う恐怖が世界中に広まり、その効果は増幅される。
<新しいタイプの爆発物>
 さらに、航空機の向かう先が米国で、攻撃が成功した場合、米国人に危害を加えることになり、アルカイダやそれに近い反西側武装勢力にとって最も大きな目的の実現にもつながる。
 警備アナリストのポール・ビーバー氏は、民間航空産業が西側で誕生したという理由から、航空機が依然として西側の代表として標的になっていることを、今回の事件が示したと話す。
 同氏は、「比較してみると、船はほとんど攻撃されていない。船では同じような(武装勢力にとっての)宣伝になるのは難しい」と言う。
 警備コンサルタント会社Stirling Assyntのテロ・国リスク部門の責任者を務めるジャスティン・クランプ氏は、2001年9月の米同時多発攻撃が、航空機に対する過激派の執着を示す最たる例だと指摘。「航空機は西側諸国であり、グローバルな商業、グローバルな通信の象徴。攻撃が成功すれば破壊度も大きく、警備が厳重になることで、あらゆる人を不便にさせる」と分析する。
 液体の爆発物という新手法を使用しようとした顕著な例では、2006年に北米行き大西洋路線の爆破計画が摘発され、今年9月に英国人の3被告が終身刑を言い渡されたケースがある。
 この事件では、ロンドンと米国、カナダ間を結ぶ乗客200人以上の航空機少なくとも7機に対し、ソフトドリンクの瓶に入れた液体の爆発物を用いて同時攻撃が企てられた。
 計画実行の数日前に摘発されたというこの事件には、アルカイダの関与も指摘され、その後機内への液体の持ち込みが厳しく制限されるようになるなど、世界的に大きな影響を与えた。


---Explosive on Flight 253 Is Among Most Powerful---
By KENNETH CHANG
Published: December 27, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/us/28explosives.html?scp=1&sq=umar+&st=nyt

Sewn into the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a powerful plastic explosive, the authorities say.

Had Mr. Abdulmutallab, sitting in seat 19A of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Friday from Amsterdam to Detroit, been able to set off the explosive, it might have blown a hole in the side of the airplane and caused it to crash, experts believe.

Mr. Abdulmutallab, 23, a Nigerian citizen, was charged in a federal criminal complaint on Saturday with the willful attempt to destroy an aircraft with an explosive device.

The complaint identified the explosive as pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN.

Introduced after World War I, PETN is in the same chemical family as nitroglycerin and among the most powerful of explosives. It was the same explosive that Richard C. Reid tried to detonate in his shoes during an American Airlines flight in December 2001.

But one characteristic of PETN is that it does not easily detonate, and that apparently thwarted Mr. Abdulmutallab, officials said. Dropping it or setting it on fire will not typically detonate it, explosive experts said.

Usually, a shock wave from a blasting cap or an exploding wire detonator is needed to set off PETN. Mr. Abdulmutallab was reported to have used a syringe to try to inject a liquid into the explosive.

“It sounds like he was trying to cause a chemical reaction that would initiate it, and that didn’t work out so well,” said Jimmie C. Oxley, an explosives expert and professor of chemistry at the University of Rhode Island.

Some passengers aboard Flight 253 said they heard popping noises similar to firecrackers, smelled a burning odor and observed Mr. Abdulmutallab’s pants leg and a wall of the airplane on fire. Passengers and crew members subdued Mr. Abdulmutallab and used blankets and fire extinguishers to put out the flames, according to the criminal complaint.

“A passenger stated that he observed Abdulmutallab holding what appeared to be a partially melted syringe, which was smoking,” the complaint said. “The passenger took the syringe from Abdulmutallab, shook it to stop it from smoking and threw it to the floor of the aircraft.”

F.B.I. agents recovered what appeared to be the remnants of a syringe from near Mr. Abdulmutallab’s seat, officials said, but the agency has not said what it suspects was in the syringe.

Dr. Oxley said it was conceivable that the contents of the syringe were sufficient to set off the PETN. “I’ve been thinking about it,” she said. “I know what I would do now, but I’m not going to tell you.”

In Mr. Reid’s shoe bombs, in 2001, a highly unstable explosive known as triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, was the detonator for the PETN, but Mr. Reid failed to set it off when he was unable to light the fuse. But TATP is a solid, so it is unlikely that that was the substance in Mr. Abdulmutallab’s syringe, Dr. Oxley said.


---More Questions on Why Terror Suspect Was Not Stopped---
By ERIC LIPTON and SCOTT SHANE
Published: December 27, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/us/28terror.html?scp=2&sq=umar+&st=nyt

WASHINGTON - When a prominent Nigerian banker and former government official phoned the American Embassy in Abuja in October with a warning that his son had developed radical views, had disappeared and might have traveled to Yemen, embassy officials did not revoke the young man’s visa to enter the United States, which was good until June 2010.

Instead, officials said Sunday, they marked the file of the son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, for a full investigation should he ever reapply for a visa. And when they passed the information on to Washington, Mr. Abdulmutallab’s name was added to 550,000 others with some alleged terrorist connections - but not to the no-fly list. That meant no flags were raised when he used cash to buy a ticket to the United States and boarded a plane, checking no bags.

Now that Mr. Abdulmutallab is charged with trying to blow up a transcontinental airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day, some members of Congress are urgently questioning why, eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks, security measures still cannot keep makeshift bombs off airliners.

On Sunday, as criticism mounted that security lapses had led to a brush with disaster, President Obama ordered a review of the two major planks of the aviation security system - the creation of watch lists and the use of detection equipment at airport checkpoints.

At the same time, a jittery air travel system coped with a new scare. On the same flight that Mr. Abdulmutallab took on Friday - Northwest 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit - an ailing Nigerian man who spent a long time in the restroom inadvertently set off a security alert. It turned out to be a false alarm.

Officials in several countries, meanwhile, worked to retrace Mr. Abdulmutallab’s path and to look for security holes. In Nigeria, officials said he arrived in Lagos on Christmas Eve, just hours before departing for Amsterdam. American officials were tracking his travels to Yemen, and Scotland Yard investigators were checking on his connections in London, where he studied from 2005 to 2008 at University College London and was president of the Islamic Society.

Obama administration officials scrambled to portray the episode, in which passengers and flight attendants subdued Mr. Abdulmutallab and doused the fire he had started, as a test that the air safety system passed.

“The system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days,” Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary said, in an interview on “This Week” on ABC. Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, used nearly the same language on “Face the Nation” on CBS, saying that “in many ways, this system has worked.”

But counterterrorism experts and members of Congress were hardly willing to praise what they said was a security system that had proved to be not nimble enough to respond to the ever-creative techniques devised by would-be terrorists.

Congressional leaders said the tip from Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, should have resulted in closer scrutiny of the suspect before he boarded the plane in Amsterdam. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, the ranking minority member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said that his visa should have been revoked, or that he at least should have been given a physical pat-down or a full-body scan.

“This individual should not have been missed,” Ms. Collins said in an interview on Sunday. “Clearly, there should have been a red flag next to his name.”

The episode has renewed a debate that has quietly continued since the 2001 attacks over the proper balance between security and privacy. The government has spent the last several years cutting the size of the watch list, after repeated criticism that too many people were being questioned at border crossings or checkpoints. Now it may be asked to expand it again.

“You are second-guessed one day and criticized on another,” said one Transportation Security Administration official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Privacy advocates, for example, have tried to stop or at least slow the introduction of advanced checkpoint screening devices that use so-called millimeter waves to create an image of a passenger’s body, so officers can see under clothing to determine if a weapon or explosive has been hidden. Security officers, in a private area, review the images, which are not stored. Legislation is pending in the House that would prohibit the use of this equipment for routine passenger screening.

To date, only 40 of these machines have been installed at 19 airports across the United States - meaning only a tiny fraction of passengers pass through them. Amsterdam’s airport has 15 of these machines - more than just about any airport in the world - but an official there said Sunday that they were prohibited from using them on passengers bound for the United States, for a reason she did not explain.

Michael Chertoff, former secretary of homeland security, and Kip Hawley, who ran the Transportation Security Administration until January, said the new body-scanning machines were a critical tool that should quickly be installed in more airports nationwide.

For now, American aviation officials have mandated that airports across the world do physical pat-downs of passengers on flights headed to the United States, a practice that in the past has also raised privacy objections.

“I understand people have issue with privacy,” Mr. Hawley said Sunday. “But that is a tradeoff, and what happened on the plane just highlights what the stakes are.”

So far, an additional 150 full-body imaging machines have been ordered, but nationwide there are approximately 2,200 checkpoint screening lanes.

One subject of the administration’s security review will be the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or Tide, the extensive collection of data on more than 500,000 people into which the warning from Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father’s was entered.

A law enforcement official said it was not unusual that a one-time comment from a relative would not place a person on the far smaller no-fly list, which has only 4,000 names, or the so-called selectee list of 14,000 names of people who are subjected to more thorough searches at checkpoints.

The point of the Tide database, the official said, is to make sure even the most minor suspicious details are recorded so that they can be connected to new data in the future.

“The information goes in there, and it’s available to all the agencies,” the official said. “The point is to marry up data from different sources over time that may indicate an individual might be a terrorist.”

The debate over watch lists and screening will be shaped in part by the still-emerging details about Mr. Abdulmutallab, his radicalization, his alleged training in Yemen and the bombing attempt. On Sunday, officials were still examining his claim that he received help from a bomb expert in Yemen associated with Al Qaeda.

Mr. Abdulmutallab was moved on Sunday from a University of Michigan hospital and transferred to a federal prison in Milan, Mich.

Mr. Mutallab, the suspect’s father, was scheduled to make a public statement on Monday after talking to Nigerian security officials in Abuja. A cousin of Mr. Abdulmutallab, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to offend the family, said in an interview on Sunday that there was no sign of radicalism in Mr. Abdulmutallab while he was growing up in Nigeria, though he was devout.

“We understand that he met some people who influenced him while in London,” where Mr. Abdulmutallab studied engineering, the cousin said. “He left London and went to Yemen where, we suspect, he mixed up with the people that put him up to this whole business.”

He added: “I think his father is embarrassed by the whole thing, because that was not the way he brought the boy up. All of us are shocked by it.”

Adam Nossiter contributed reporting from Lisbon, Portugal; Senan Murray from Abuja, Nigeria; Imam Imam from Funtua, Nigeria; and Marlise Simons from Paris.


---Bomb Suspect Came From Elite Family, Best Schools---
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 27, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/12/27/world/AP-Airliner-Attack-Profile.html?scp=3&sq=umar&st=nyt

Filed at 8:10 p.m. ET

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- As a member of an uppercrust Nigerian family, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab received the best schooling, from the elite British International School in West Africa to the vaunted University College London.

But the education he wanted was of a different sort: Nigerian officials say his interest in extremist Islam prompted his father to warn U.S. authorities. As Abdulmutallab was being escorted in handcuffs off the Detroit-bound airliner he attempted to blow up on Christmas Day, he told U.S. officials that he had sought an extremist education at an Islamist hotbed in Yemen.

A portrait emerged Sunday of a serious young man who led a privileged life as the son of a prominent banker, but became estranged from his family as an adult. Devoutly religious, he was nicknamed ''The Pope'' for his saintly aura and gave few clues in his youth that he would turn radical, friends and family said.

''In all the time I taught him we never had cross words,'' said Michael Rimmer, a Briton who taught history at the British International School in Lome, Togo. ''Somewhere along the line he must have met some sort of fanatics, and they must have turned his mind.''

Abdulmutallab has been charged with trying to destroy a Northwest flight on Christmas Day with 278 passengers and 11 crew members on board. The detonator on his explosive apparently malfunctioned and he was subdued by other passengers.

Through an official, Abdulmutallab's father ''expressed deep shock and regret over his son's actions.''

His family home sits in the city of Funtua, in the heart of Nigeria's Islamic culture. Religion figured into the family's life: His father, Alhaji Umar Mutallab, who had a successful career in commercial banking, also joined the board of an Islamic bank -- one that avoids the kind of interest payments banned by the Quran.

The large house, surrounded by a wall and a metal fence just off the main road running through the city, stood empty, a common occurrence for a jet-set family that sought an education abroad for Abdulmutallab. Family members told The Associated Press they could not comment but expected the family to issue a statement.

Mutallab was working with the FBI and not expected to grant media interviews, Information Minister Dora Akunyili said.

The elder Mutallab was ''a responsible and respected Nigerian, with a true Nigerian spirit,'' she said. He had been estranged from his son for several months and alerted U.S. officials last month about the youth's growing hard-line Islamic religious beliefs.

A close neighbor told the AP he believed Abdulmutallab did not get his extremist ideas from his family or from within Nigeria.

Basiru Sani Hamza, 35, said Abdulmutallab was a ''very religious'' and a ''very obedient'' to his parents as a boy in the well-to-do banking family.

''I believe he must have been lured where he is schooling to carry out this attack,'' Hamza said. ''Really, the boy has betrayed his father because he has been taking care of all their needs.''

Rimmer, a teacher at his high school in West Africa, said Abdulmutallab had been well-respected.

''At one stage, his nickname was 'The Pope,''' Rimmer said from London in a telephone interview. ''In one way it's totally unsuitable because he's Muslim, but he did have this saintly aura.''

But Abdulmutallab also showed signs of inflexibility, Rimmer said.

In a discussion in 2001, Abdulmutallab was the only one to defend the actions of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Rimmer said. At the time, Rimmer thought the boy was just playing the devil's advocate.

He also noted that during a school trip to London, Abdulmutallab became upset when the teacher took students to a pub and said it wasn't right to be in a place where alcohol was served.

Rimmer also remembered the youngster choosing to give 50 pounds to an orphanage rather than spend it on souvenirs in London.

Rimmer described the institution -- an elite college preparatory school, attended by children of diplomats and wealthy Africans -- as ''lovely, lovely environment'' where Christians often joined in Islamic feasts and where some of the best Christmas carolers were Muslims.

Abdulmutallab showed no signs of intolerance toward other students, Rimmer said, explaining that ''lots of his mates were Christians.''

The Briton noted that he has not seen or heard from his former pupil since 2003 when he was still a teenager.

Abdulmutallab went on to study engineering and business finance at the University College London, where he graduated last year, the college confirmed.

Students at his prestigious university in London, where Abdulmutallab lived in a smart white stone apartment block in an exclusive area of central London, said Abdulmutallab showed no signs of radicalization and painted him as a lax student with deep religious views.

''We worked on projects together,'' Fabrizio Cavallo Marincola, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering student at University College, told The Independent newspaper. ''He always did the bare minimum of work and would just show up to classes. When we were studying, he always would go off to pray.

''He was pretty quiet and didn't socialize much or have a girlfriend that I knew of. I didn't get to talk to him much on a personal level. I was really shocked when I saw the reports. You would never imagine him pulling off something like this.''

Marincola declined further comment when contacted by the AP.

------

Associated Press writers Raphael Satter in London and Salisu Rabiu in Funtua, Nigeria, contributed to this report.


---アルカーイダか デトロイトで航空機爆破未遂、テロの疑い---
2009.12.26 09:19
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/america/091226/amr0912260919003-n1.htm

 【ワシントン=山本秀也】AP通信によると、25日、米ミシガン州デトロイトに到着したアムステルダム発の米ノースウエスト航空(NWA)253便の乗客が、同機を爆破しようとしたとして司法当局に身柄を拘束された。容疑者は国際テロ組織アルカーイダとの関連を供述しているとされ、ホワイトハウス当局者は同日、「テロ行為の疑いがある」との見方を示した。
 乗客の話として伝えられたところでは、容疑者は同便が降下中に何かを発火させようとした。わずかに発火したものの爆発などは起きず、容疑者は直ちに機内で取り押さえられたが、機内は騒然となったという。容疑者は男性だといわれる。
 当初、これは花火とみられていたが、その後の調べで粉末と液体を混合した爆発物の可能性が出ている。現在、連邦捜査局(FBI)が取り調べを進めている。
 AP通信は、ニューヨーク州選出のキング下院議員の話として、容疑者はアブドゥル・ムダラドと名乗るナイジェリア国籍の人物だと伝えた。報道によれば、年齢は23歳。容疑者は、ナイジェリアからアムステルダム経由で米国に向かったという。
 当時、同便には乗客・乗員278人が乗っていた。着陸後、乗客の1人がデトロイトの病院に搬送されたが、容疑者か別の乗客なのかは明らかでない。
 オバマ米大統領はハワイで静養中。同通信は同行しているホワイトハウス当局者の話として、テロ行為の可能性を伝えた。 


---Terror Attempt Seen as Man Tries to Ignite Device on Jet---
By ANAHAD O’CONNOR and ERIC SCHMITT
Published: December 25, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/26/us/26plane.html?_r=1&scp=7&sq=&st=nyt

A Nigerian man tried to ignite an explosive device aboard a trans-Atlantic Northwest Airlines flight as the plane prepared to land in Detroit on Friday, in an incident the United States believes was “an attempted act of terrorism,” according to a White House official who declined to be identified.

The device, described by officials as a mixture of powder and liquid, failed to fully detonate. Passengers on the plane described a series of pops that sounded like firecrackers.

Federal officials said the man wanted to bring the plane down.

“This was the real deal,” said Representative Peter T. King of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, who was briefed on the incident and said something had gone wrong with the explosive device, which he described as somewhat sophisticated. “This could have been devastating,” Mr. King said.

The incident is likely to lead to heightened security during the busy holiday season.

It was unclear how the man, identified by federal officials as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, managed to get the explosive on the plane, an Airbus A330 wide-body jet carrying 278 passengers that departed from Amsterdam with passengers who had originated in Nigeria. A senior administration official said that the government did not yet know whether the man had had the capacity to take down the plane.

“We’re trying to ascertain exactly what he had and what he thought he was doing, but our sense is he wanted to wreak some havoc here and was attempting to do just that,” the official said. “Whether at the end of the day he had the ability to do that is what I think we’ll be able to pull together over the next several days as we investigate this.”

A senior Department of Homeland Security official said that the materials Mr. Abdulmutallab had on him were “more incendiary than explosive,” and that he had tried to ignite them to cause a fire as the airliner was approaching Detroit.

Mr. Abdulmutallab told law enforcement authorities, the official said, that he had had explosive powder taped to his leg and that he had mixed it with chemicals held in a syringe.

A federal counterterrorism official who asked not to be identified said Mr. Abdulmutallab was apparently in a government law enforcement-intelligence database, but it is not clear what extremist group or individuals he might be linked to.

“It’s too early to say what his association is,” the counterterrorism official said. “At this point, it seems like he was acting alone, but we don’t know for sure.” Although Mr. Abdulmutallab is said to have told officials that he was directed by Al Qaeda, the counterterrorism official expressed caution about that claim, saying “it may have been aspirational.”

The incident unfolded just before noon. “There was a pop that sounded like a firecracker,” said Syed Jafry, a passenger who said he had been sitting three rows ahead of the suspect. A few seconds later, he said, there was smoke and “some glow” from the suspect’s seat and on the left side of the plane.

“There was a panic,” said Mr. Jafry, 57, of Holland, Ohio. “Next thing you know everybody was on him.” He said the passengers and the crew subdued the man.

The suspect was brought by the crew to the front of the plane - Northwest Airlines Flight 253, bearing Delta’s name - and the plane made its descent into Detroit Metropolitan Airport, landing at 11:53 a.m. (The two airlines merged last year.) Once on the ground, it was immediately guided to the end of a runway, where it was surrounded by police cars and emergency vehicles and searched by a bomb-disabling robot.

Sandra Berchtold, a spokeswoman with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Detroit office, said F.B.I. agents were at the scene Friday night and were investigating the matter.

One federal official who requested anonymity said Mr. Abdulmutallab had suffered severe burns but was expected to survive. A Michigan state official confirmed that he was being treated at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor.

President Obama was kept informed throughout the day as he spent Christmas with his family and friends at a secluded Hawaiian beach house. After a secure conference call, he was given several follow-up briefings on paper. John O. Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief, convened an interagency meeting in the late afternoon to go over what was known about the incident and discuss what precautions should be taken.

A second Department of Homeland Security official said that the Transportation Security Administration used layers of security measures at the nation’s airports and that it would be tightening them as a result of the incident in Detroit.

These measures - some visible to passengers, some not - include bomb-sniffing dog teams, carry-on luggage and passenger screening measures, and plainclothes behavioral-detection specialists inside airport terminals. The official said there were no immediate plans to elevate the nation’s threat level, which has been at orange since 2006.

Mr. King, of the Homeland Security Committee, said there was no indication at this point that anyone else was involved, but he said officials would look back to see if any intelligence signals were missed. “For a while now we have had real concerns about Al Qaeda or terrorist connections in Nigeria,” he said.

Of the device used on Friday, he said, “It appears to be different from explosive devices that have been used before. That is perhaps why it escaped detection. Maybe that is why it made it through.”

Questions have been raised for years about aviation security in Nigeria. Last month, however, the T.S.A. said that standards at the Lagos airport met international criteria for security.

Friday’s incident brought to mind Richard C. Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, who attempted to blow up an American Airlines flight between Paris and Miami in December 2001 by igniting explosives in his shoes. Mr. Reid was subdued by a flight attendant and passengers and the plane landed safely in Boston. Mr. Reid later pleaded guilty to three terrorism-related counts and was sentenced to life in prison. Since then, airline passengers have had to remove their shoes before passing through security checkpoints in American airports.

In August 2006, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up planes bound for the United States using explosives that would be mixed with liquids on board. Eight men were arrested, and three were convicted in the case this fall. British authorities estimated that as many as 2,000 airplane passengers might have been killed had the plotters been successful. The plot led security officials to limit the amount of liquids and gels that passengers can bring on board in their carry-on baggage.

Anahad O’Connor reported from New York, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. Peter Baker contributed reporting from Hawaii, Eric Lipton from Washington, and Micheline Maynard, Nick Bunkley and Bill Vlasic from Detroit.


---近赤外線を使った新しい爆発物検知装置 関空で実証試験---
2009.12.15 21:03
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/kinki/osaka/091215/osk0912152119014-n1.htm

 近赤外線を使った新技術の爆発物検知装置の実証試験が15日、関西国際空港国内線ゲートエリアの職員用ゲートで始まった。ペットボトルの内容物をこれまで以上に精密に判別できるという。17日まで行われ、動作状況を確認する。
 大阪大と農機具メーカー「クボタ」(大阪市)が文科省の委託事業として共同研究。クボタが果物の甘みなどを計測する装置に使ってきた近赤外線の技術を応用。従来の検知装置では、判別不能だった危険物も識別できるのが特徴。
 実証試験では、ペットボトルを装置の穴に差し込むと、近赤外線が照射され、内容物を2~3秒で判別。内容物が安全な飲料では緑のランプが点灯、「OK」と画面表示するが、爆発物の成分に似せたサンプル液体では、赤のランプがつき「NG」と表示される。
 試験で動作を確認後、来年にも製品化する見通し。共同研究した糸崎秀夫・大阪大大学院教授(電子光科学)は「装置を小型化するほか、化粧品やシャンプーなど多様な液体を判別できるよう改良し、安全性や利便性を高めていきたい」としている。

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