Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (born December 22, 1986) also known as the Underwear bomber is the man who attempted to bomb a airline in his underwear on Chrismas Day 2009.
On Northwest Airlines Flight 253, a Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-323E twinjet, registered N820NW, with 279 passengers, 8 flight attendants, and 3 pilots aboard, left Amsterdam around 08:45 local time. The plane was scheduled to arrive in Detroit at 11:40 EST, and was painted in Delta Air Lines' livery, as Northwest was a subsidiary of Delta at the time.
Witnesses reported that as the plane approached Detroit, Abdulmutallab went into the plane's lavatory for about 20 minutes. After returning to his seat at 19A (near the fuel tanks and wing, and against the skin of the plane), he complained that he had an upset stomach. He was seen pulling a blanket over himself.
About 20 minutes before the plane landed, on its final descent, he secretly ignited a small explosive device consisting of a mix of plastic explosive powder and acid. Abdulmutallab apparently had a packet of the plastic explosive sewn to his underwear, and injected liquid acid from a syringe into the packet to cause a chemical reaction. While there was a small explosion and fire, the device failed to detonate properly. Passengers heard popping noises resembling firecrackers, smelled an odor, and saw the suspect's pants, leg and the wall of the plane on fire.
Abdulmutallab spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom as the flight approached Detroit, and then covered himself with a blanket after returning to his seat. Other passengers then heard popping noises, smelled a foul odor, and some saw Abdulmutallab’s trouser leg and the wall of the plane on fire. Fellow passenger Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch film director, jumped on Abdulmutallab and subdued him as flight attendants used fire extinguishers to douse the flames.Abdulmutallab was taken toward the front of the airplane cabin, was seen to have lost his trousers due to the fire, and had burns on his legs. When asked by a flight attendant what he had in his pocket, he replied: “Explosive device.” The device consisted of a six-inch (15-cm) packet which was sewn into his underwear containing the explosive powder PETN, which became a plastic explosive when mixed with the high explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) (the same two explosives that were used by Richard Reid in 2001, and a syringe containing liquid acid. Abdulmutallab created the explosive by mixing PETN with TATP and other ingredients.
After being taken into custody, Abdulmutallab told authorities he had been directed by al-Qaeda, and that he had obtained the device in Yemen. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the organization's affiliate in Yemen, subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack, describing it as revenge for the United States' role in a Yemeni military offensive against al-Qaeda in that country.