Nigerian Terrorist, Abdulmutallab was recruited in London

Anwar al-Awlaki

Anwar al-Awlaki has also been linked to the Fort Hood shootings

The alleged US plane bomber met radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, after being recruited in London, a senior Yemeni official has said. (Obama should then add Britain as a state sponsor of terrorism)

Last week US security official John Brennan said there were “indications” of direct contact between the two men.

Mr Awlaki was linked to an attack by a US army major on the Fort Hood base in November, in which 13 people died.

Yemeni Deputy PM Rashad al-Alimi also said bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab used explosives from Nigeria not Yemen.

Mr Abdulmutallab was indicted by a US grand jury on six counts on Wednesday.


Born 1971 in New Mexico
Sermons in San Diego, California, attended by two of 9/11 hijackers
Endorsed violence as religious duty
Moved to Yemen in 2004 to live in ancestral home village
Jailed in 2006 for alleged plot to kidnap US military attache
Advised Fort Hood suspect Maj Nidal Malik Hasan by email


Charges against him include attempted murder of the 290 people aboard the plane and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Mr Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to detonate a bomb on Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, but the plane landed safely after crew and passengers overpowered him.

In a separate development, Mr Alimi said that five Germans including three children and a Briton kidnapped in Yemen six months ago are still alive.

He said northern Shia rebels were co-operating with al-Qaeda over the kidnap.

‘Not just a cleric’

Mr Alimi told journalists that Mr Abdulmutallab “joined al-Qaeda in London”.

The suspected bomber studied at University College London (UCL) from September 2005 to June 2008 and was president of its Islamic society in 2006-07. 

Booking photo of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab released by US authorities on 28 December 2009

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been in custody since 25 December


But UCL has said there is no evidence to suggest Mr Abdulmutallab was radicalised while he was there.

Mr Alimi also said the suspect met Mr Awlaki in the cleric’s ancestral home province of Shabwa.

Mr Awlaki, a radical American Muslim cleric of Yemeni descent, has been linked to other attacks, including that carried out by US army Maj Nidal Malik Hasan at the Fort Hood army base in Texas in November.

“Mr Awlaki is a problem. He’s clearly a part of al-Qaeda in [the] Arabian Peninsula,” Mr Brennan, who is UN deputy national security adviser, told CNN last week.

“He’s not just a cleric. He is in fact trying to instigate terrorism.”

Some reports say the cleric was killed just before the Christmas attack, in an airstrike on a suspected al-Qaeda base.

However, friends and relatives say he was not harmed in the raid.

‘A certain shock’

Confirmation of the meeting between the two men comes as the White House plans to publish a declassified account of the Christmas Day plot.

In an interview for USA Today newspaper, National Security Adviser Gen James Jones said people would feel “a certain shock” that clues about Mr Abdulmutallab’s role were not acted on.

President Barack Obama “is legitimately and correctly alarmed that things that were available, bits of information that were available, patterns of behaviour that were available, were not acted on”, he said.

Mr Obama is expected to address the nation about the incident later in the day and unveil new steps aimed at avoiding further terrorist attacks. 


Dear Editor,

In response to the volume of news about the ‘Nigerian bomber ‘of Delta Airline on Christmas day which still dazes some of us. To make the matter more traumatic on the collective psychic of Nigerians, the US Government placed our blessed Country on the list of ‘country of interest’. The far reaching implication is an outright label of a country with terrorist….what a title for the New Year. US bound Nigerians will henceforth face stiffer screening and perhaps more humiliations at airports prior to entry into the land of the Yankees.

What is thrilling and offensive from evidences available to most Nigerians is that Farouk Abdulmutallab was recruited from the UK to pursue his conviction of being a ‘martyr’ from such dastardly act. Where did Nigeria feature in the scheme of things? A more logical action is for USA to mark out United Kingdom rather than Nigeria …what a misplaced judgement. It is curious to observe that the Netherlands is not on the notorious list despite allowing the Youngman to board the Delta Airline flight from Schipol, one of the best secured airports in the world. The list of European Countries with their Citizens in Guantanamo and other US facilities are inexhaustible, yet those countries are not blacklisted based on the trivial criteria of their country of birth or holding a passport.

The USA authorities should have a rethink and not brand Nigeria as such for an isolated case that has no bearing with Nigeria . Connecting the dots of intelligence & security information should be the preoccupation of US. Responsible USA Officials vested to nip such buds should be prosecuted for their inexcusable delay at acting even at the face of glues provider by the senior Abdulmutallab.


Ime A. John MD

Co-President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear war (1985 Nobel Peace price Recipient) lives in Sweden .