Details emerge of hero passenger's actions on Flight #253
Investigations are now underway in Europe and the United States after a Nigerian engineering student attempted to set off a Christmas day bomb aboard Northwest Flight #253. CNN reports there were no air marshalls aboard the flight. Saving the plane is due to the bravery of one passenger, Jasper Schuringa, a video director who lives in Amsterdam.
The New York Daily News reports Schuringa smelled something burning as the plane was preparing for arrival in Detroit. As other passengers screamed and panicked, Schuringa crawled over a seat and noticed that had his pants open and something burning between his legs.
"I pulled the object from him and tried to extinguish the fire with my hands and threw it away," Schuringa said.
He said he then screamed for water and pulled Abdulmutallab out of his seat and dragged him to the front of the plane.
Schuringa told CNN that Abdulmutallab seemed out of it and "was staring into nothing."
To ensure the suspect did not have other explosives on his body, Schuringa stripped off Abdulmutallab's clothes. He then handcuffed the alleged attacker with the help of a crew member.
The 23-year old suspect is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, whom the London Times says is an engineering student from London. Abdulmuttallab's ties to Al Qaida are being investigated. CNN reports the suspect was on the American "watch" list for terrorist connections, but was not on a "no-fly" list, and the bombing device came from the country of Yemen, a known Al Qaida stronghold.
Clearly, much more is to be learned about the type of incendiary device which was brought aboard an American plane, what kinds of increased security will be needed and whether this event signals an escalation of Al Qaida jihadi assaults on this country.
Northwest Flight #253 shows us that there are many elements necessary to keep the airlines safe, all of which can fail. Those whose choose to fly right now, must be vigilant and mindful that getting home safely may be the very personal responsibility of each person aboard the plane.
Hero Jasper Schuringa has a Facebook page, which is being deluged with "friend" requests and congratulations today.
Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog, UNCOVERAGE.net