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Nigerian Man Attempted to Blow Up US Airliner

A young Nigerian man with reported links to Al-Qaeda was under arrest Saturday after trying to blow up a US airlinerv headed for Detroit.

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Abdulmutallab was reportedly receiving treatment for third-degree burns to his legs at the University of Michigan Medical Center in the nearby city of Ann Arbor.

He told the authorities he was following orders from Al-Qaeda, according to US media reports, but counter-terrorism officials said he could have been acting alone.

US media, citing a federal security bulletin, said the man told investigators he had acquired the explosive device in Yemen, along with instructions as to when it should be used.

There was a suggestion of links between Abdulmutallab and radical US-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, who had contacts with the US army psychiatrist accused of gunning down 13 people at a Texas military base last month.

"He may have been in contact with the American imam al-Aulaqi," Peter Hoekstra, the most senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and a member of Congress for Michigan, told AFP.

"There are reports that he had contact and that he was recently in Yemen. The question we'll have to raise is was this imam in Yemen influential enough to get some people to attack the US again."

Meanwhile, the European Commission said Saturday it was investigating if proper security measures had been followed in Amsterdam, as checks were tightened in other major airports, including Paris, Rome and London.

"I am horrified by the attempted terrorist attack on a flight between Amsterdam and Detroit on Christmas Day," said a statement by Jacques Barrot, a vice-president of the European Commission.

This video was snipped by Crooks and Liars on Dec. 26, 2009.

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