“Hey man, hey dude, your pants are on fire.”
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian student from London and al-Qaeda terrorist, is presently being tried in Detroit for trying to set off a bomb in his underpants on a trans-Atlantic flight. It happened on Christmas Day 2009. Umar had been to Yemen to take part in jihad and was able to get as far as he did in that spoke fluent English, was a frequent traveller and a visa to enter the US. The plan was to use a syringe to detonate home-made explosives concealed in his underwear, that then detonating 200 grams of plastic explosive. Umar made a martyrdom video and, during the flight, spent part of his time in the toilet praying and perfuming in anticipation of entry into paradise. When he returned to his seat he put a blanket over his head for four or five minutes and detonated the first explosive. Passengers heard a loud “pop” but fortunately for the passengers but regrettably for Umar, the second explosive did not detonate. Smoke rose from Umar’s legs, causing the passenger next to Umar to say “Hey man, hey dude, your pants are on fire.”
Other passengers were a bit more astute. They grabbed Umar as the plane made an emergency descent and landing at Detroit airport. The co-pilot radioed that there had been a fire aboard and called for the fire brigade, an attendant asked Umar if he was in pain and Umar finally admitted that he had explosives in his underwear.
The trial continues.