Security questions after Christmas bomb attempt

The World

Concerns about the safety of airline travel are still running high this morning after a 23-year-old Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, allegedly attempted to detonate explosives aboard Northwest flight 253, flying from Amsterdam to Detroit, on Christmas Day. Authorities credit quick action by passengers and crew and a faulty detonator with preventing what could have been a tragedy aboard the plane. But travelers can expect to see a host of new restrictions on airline flights. Micheline Maynard is covering the story for our partner, The New York Times.

Many people were surprised to learn that the father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had reportedly approached the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, with concerns that his son was becoming radicalized. That has raised questions of why the young man wasn’t subjected to greater scrutiny before boarding the plane to Detroit. For a look at how this incident may change planning and procedure around U.S. airport security we speak to Paul Pillar. Pillar is the director of graduate studies at Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies.

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