Did Northwest Atempted Bomber Mutallab Get On Plane Without Passport?
December 28, 2009
(ChattahBox) — This could turn into a shocking security lapse if true. A Michigan man Kurt Haskell, who flew on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit believes he witnessed alleged terrorist bomber, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, trying to board the plane earlier in the day without a passport. Haskell said he was sitting with his wife playing cards directly in front of the check in counter in Amsterdam, when an Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the counter with who he believes to be Mutallab. He noted the two of them were an odd pair and the older Indian man said referring to Mutallab:
“This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.” The ticket agent said “you can’t board without a passport”. The Indian man then replied, “He is from Sudan, we do this all the time.” The ticket agent then said “You will have to talk to my manager”, and sent the two down a hallway. Haskell said, I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn’t on the flight.
Haskell also said the FBI arrested a different Indian man while they were held in customs after a bomb sniffing dog detected a bomb in his carry on bag and he was searched after we landed. Newspaper Michigan Live better known as MLive reports, that Haskell confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass to them. They also report that Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. To see Kurt Haskell’s own description of what he and his wife saw, click here.
It will be interesting to see if the FBI refutes this story, otherwise someone has a lot of explaining to do. And on the flip side maybe this story is true, and it was an attempt to avoid Mutallab using his own passport in fear that he might be on the ‘no fly’ list. Perhaps when his handler saw they couldn’t get around not having a passport, Mutallab did use his own. As I mentioned yesterday, even if this egregious breach of security didn’t happen there always seem to be lapses in the passport screening of these bombers. Four weeks ago Mutallab’s father allegedly told the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, that he was concerned about his son’s religious beliefs. This information was passed on to U.S. intelligence officials but he still ended up on a plane heading to the U.S. The alleged bomber was also on a separate U.S. terror database, but his name was absent from ‘no-fly’ lists. Also Mutallab paid cash for the $2,831 round-trip ticket from Lagos, Nigeria, to Detroit via Amsterdam, and checked into his flight with only a small carry-on bag, which should have been another red flag.