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Nigerian bomb suspect 'son of top banker'

Published 26/12/2009

Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on the runway after arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on the runway after arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
No passengers, shown here arriving in Detroit, were injured in the incident
A person in protective clothing enters the plane (AP)

A prominent Nigerian banker is meeting security officials over fears his son may have been the man who allegedly tried to bomb a US-bound flight.

Former bank official Alhaji Umaru Mutallab said he travelled from his home in Nigeria's Muslim-dominated north to meet officials in Abuja, the capital.

The banker said his son, identified by US officials as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, was a student in London.

He said his son left London to travel, though he did not know where to.

Mr Mutallab said: "I believe he might have been to Yemen, but we are investigating to determine that."

The attempted bombing occurred as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam prepared to land in Detroit just before noon on Friday.

Travellers said the attempted terrorist attack began with a pop and a puff of smoke -- sending passengers scrambling to subdue a man who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaida.

"It sounded like a firecracker in a pillowcase," said Peter Smith, a passenger from the Netherlands. "First there was a pop, and then (there) was smoke."

Mr Smith said one passenger climbed over other passengers, went across the aisle and tried to restrain the alleged attacker.

The White House said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel.

Press Association

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