Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is just one of more such bombers who are set to target aircraft coming into the United States. This was apparently revealed by the suspected bomber himself.
According to a news report, Abdulmutallab told investigators that he was only “one of many bombers being groomed” by the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen; their targets were to be aircraft bound for the United States. Abdulmutallab has been transferred from a hospital in Detroit to a federal prison in Milan, Michigan.
Authorities from Yemen confirmed that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been in the country since August of this year. He purchased his ticket from a KLM office in Accra, Ghana, on December 16.
With this statement from Abdulmutallab, authorities are now trying to find accomplices who may have assisted the young man in his foiled attempt. Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, has expressed that he had doubts about Abdulmutallab acting alone. According to the Dutch military police, they are also looking into a witness’ description of an accomplice who may have assisted Abdulmutallab in getting on the aircraft from Amseterdam.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressed the following on the Today Show on NBC when categorically asked about whether the security system had failed: “It did. Our system did not work in this instance. No one is happy or satisfied with that.” Presdent Obama has released a statement regarding the attack, saying “We will not rest until we find all those who were involved and hold them accountable.”
There is certainly more comfort in the ability to prevent, rather than respond rapidly to, a terrorist attack; the latter was what Napolitano initially focused on when news about the incident first exploded, something that she has tried to correct.
There are now new security requirements in place for the final hour of a flight, which include banning passengers from using the lavatory, viewing in-flight route maps or having blankets in their laps.