A small explosion that occurred Christmas Day aboard a Delta-Northwest Airlines from the Netherlands to Detroit on Friday is being investigated as an attempted act of terrorism.
According to news reports, a Nigerian man, who has claimed links to Al Qaeda, was taken into custody with burns after allegedly trying to detonate explosives on Northwest Flight 253.
The suspect has been identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, an engineering student at University College London.
CNN has reported that some sort of "small explosive device" had detonated inside the passenger cabin, and a fire warning light had gone on. Two passengers had received minor injuries, Delta said.
A White House official told the press that the administration believed the bombing attempt was an act of terrorism. The administration issued a statement Friday night that President Obama had conferred with White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan and National Security Council Acting Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and instructed that "all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel."
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made a statement on the incident Saturday saying, “"I am grateful to the passengers and crew aboard Northwest Flight 253 who reacted quickly and heroically to an incident that could have had tragic results. The Department of Homeland Security immediately put additional screening measures into place—for all domestic and international flights—to ensure the continued safety of the traveling public. We are also working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement on additional security measures, as well as our international partners on enhanced security at airports and on flights.””
Napolitano added that passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. “These measures”, she said, “ are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere. "