Nigerian man indicted in plot to blow up plane

(AP) - A grand jury indicted a Nigerian man on Wednesday on charges accusing him of attempting to blow up a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day by trying to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The federal grand jury also charged Umar Farouk Abdulmutallabwith attempted murder, possession of a firearm and other counts.

Authorities say Abdulmutallab, 23, was traveling to Detroit fromAmsterdam when he tried to blow up the plane carrying nearly 300people by injecting chemicals into a package of pentrite explosiveconcealed in his underwear.

The failed attack caused popping sounds and flames thatpassengers and crew rushed to extinguish.

Since then, airlines and the Transportation SecurityAdministration have boosted security in airports in the U.S. andaround the world.

There is no specific mention of terrorism in the seven-pageindictment, but President Barack Obama considers the incident afailed strike against the United States by an affiliate ofal-Qaida.

Abdulmutallab has told U.S. investigators he received trainingand instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. His fatherwarned the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria that his son had drifted intoextremism in the al-Qaida hotbed of Yemen, but that threat wasnever fully digested by the U.S. security apparatus.

He is currently being held at a federal prison in Milan, Mich. Amessage seeking comment was left Wednesday with his lawyer, MiriamSiefer.

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