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Detroit, MI - Claim: Would Be Bomber Had No Passport

Published on: December 28, 2009 07:47 AM
By:  mlive.com
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would be bomber Umar Farouk AbdulmutallabDetroit, MI - A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.’”


Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab’s lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.

The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn’t see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.

Haskell said the flight was mostly unremarkable. That was until he heard a flight attendant say she smelled smoke, just after the pilot announced the plane would land in Detroit in 10 minutes. Haskell got out of his seat to view the brewing commotion.

“I stood up and walked a couple feet ahead to get a closer look, and that’s when I saw the flames,” said Haskell, who sat about seven rows behind Mutallab. “It started to spread pretty quickly. It went up the wall, all the way to ceiling.”

Haskell, who described Mutallab as a diminutive man who looks like a teenager, said about 30 seconds passed between the first mention of smoke and when Mutallab was subdued by fellow passengers.

“He didn’t fight back at all. This wasn’t a big skirmish,” Haskell said. “A couple guys jumped on him and hauled him away.”

The ordeal has Haskell and his wife a little shaken. Flight attendants were screaming during the fire and the pilot sounded notably nervous when bringing the plane in for a landing, he said.

“Immediately, the pilot came on and said two words: emergency landing,” Haskell said. “And that was it. The plane sped up instead of slowing down. You could tell he floored it.”

As Mutallab was being led out of the plane in handcuffs, Haskell said he realized that was the same man he saw trying to board the plane in Amsterdam.

Passengers had to wait about 20 minutes before they were allowed to exit the plane. Haskell said he and other passengers waited about six hours to be interviewed by the FBI.

About an hour after landing, Haskell said he saw another man being taken into custody. But a spokeswoman from the FBI in Detroit said Mutallab was the only person taken into custody.

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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »


 Dec 28, 2009 at 08:34 AM Handy Says:

Thanks to this idiot, you are no longer allowed any electronic items on flights to the USA (this new "security measure" was introduced yesterday). Well done.

All passengers on flights to the USA will have to undergo a body-search and pat-down at the gate, before being allowed to board US-bound flights. And this helps who, exactly? What about people who fly for business - they have to check their laptops and iphones? We all know they will be damaged or stolen...

And all flights within the USA (domestic) as of yesterday will not allow coats, jackets or blankets to be on you for the last hour of the flight. What about people who are cold? How about old people? So everyone has to throw their blankets and coats on the floor?

Why can't they simply introduce proper security like Tel Aviv, and there will be no need for bubba-maysos like shoes-off, no liquids, no electronics, no blankets or coats, etc. Nobody ever tried to blow-up a plane from Tel Aviv - they must know how to do simple screening there...


 Dec 28, 2009 at 08:12 AM Eli Says:

I hope we will see some high heads rolling in the next week, this is unacceptable.


 Dec 28, 2009 at 08:07 AM thinker Says:

here starts the conspiracy thinkers....
the main stream media doesn't want to cover the real story....
soon the conspiracy-thinking-sites will have their whole story set up based on his boarding without a passport.....


 Dec 28, 2009 at 07:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Doesn't make sense. Why would they take a chance when getting a false passport is one of the easier things for them.


 Dec 28, 2009 at 08:50 AM Anonymous Says:

If he boarded without documents then Amsterdam shoul dno longer be allowed as a departure point to the USA.
teach other nations that we mean it.


 Dec 28, 2009 at 09:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Well, one wonders whether this was a setup for the security industry, using a brainwashed manchurian candidate type of person with no real negative background at all!! Getting on a plane without a passport DESPITE the fact that he had 2 visas to the US??!! Why was he accompanied and put up no fight? Sounds like a case of being drugged or brainwashed. If he thought he could do the job, why didn't he do it in the bathroom where no one would see him?!


 Dec 28, 2009 at 09:43 AM What Next? Says:

I wasn't allowed to board without my passport, when I forgot it at home. That's only common sense. I bet this was a set up so TSA can make our flights more restrictive and more uncomfortable. What's the difference if you have a blanket or if you are wearing layers of clothing that you can hide under? Are they going to make passengers sit in their underwear for the last hour of a flight so we can't hide something in a jacket? Next time I fly, maybe I'll wear a diaper, and a big poncho with a lot of pockets.


 Dec 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM frum but normal Says:

proves once again that liberalism,and political correctnes is nothing but a severe mental disease and is suicidal,the only reason this animal was let on the plane without a passport is because he was a black,this disease has infected all of europe and unfortunately also Israel,and with the election of hussein obama is in the process of infecting the U.S too.
if we will not eradicate this disease we are all doomed


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