How slain Al Qaeda leader mentored Abdulmutallab into becoming suicide bomber

Abdulmutallab [Photo credit:]

The New York Times, through a Freedom of Information Act request, has obtained documents containing detailed accounts of how slain Al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, mentored a Nigerian, Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to explode a bomb hidden in his underpants, on a flight from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Detroit, United States, on Christmas Day in 2009.

Mr. Abdulmutallab, commonly referred to as the “underwear bomber” by United States media, is the son of former chairman of First Bank Plc, Umaru Abdulmutallab. In 2012, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a defiant guilty plea.

The 200-page redacted documents, which contained information obtained from Mr Abdulmutallab through extensive interviews, was released to the newspaper after two years of legal struggle.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, had kept the account a secret and rejected a request made by an author of a 2015 book on the life of Mr. al-Awlaki, an American-born islamic cleric, forcing the New York Times to sue to obtain the documents.

Last December a federal judge, Ronnie Abrams, ordered the FBI to release the document to the newspaper.

Mr. al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike ordered by former President Barack Obama in 2011. He was the first American to be killed by the deliberate order of a U.S. president since the Civil War.

In a series of interviews with the FBI, Mr. Abdulmutallab, a wealthy 23-year-old studying engineering at the University College, London, revealed his journey towards radicalisation and how he sought out Mr al-Awlaki, who mentored him into becoming a suicide bomber.

Mr. Abdulmutallab told FBI agent about how he first encountered the Al-Qaeda leader through a recorded lecture he bought from an Islamic store in the United Kingdom in 2005. He became enamored by his teachings.

After a trip to the United Arab Emirates in 2009, he said he felt “God was guiding him to jihad.” He travelled to Yemen to meet the Mr. al-Awkali, who then had fully embraced violence and was a rising Al Qaeda leader.

From then Mr. al-Awkali transcended from being his religious hero into his tutor on how to become a jihadist. Mr. Abdulmutallab told agents that the cleric did not only oversee his training in Yemen, but also conceived the plot leading to the failed bomb attack.

According to the report, Mr. Abdulmutallab in series of interviews described every person he remembered meeting from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsul, as the Yemen branch of the terrorist group is known. He also provided agents with vivid description of the layout of training camps, Mr. al-Awlaki’s house and many other Qaeda buildings. According to the New York Times, his descriptions were so precise that they may have aided the its drone campaign in Yemen.

He said Mr. al-Awlaki, who was called “sheikh” out of respect, introduced him to other Al Qaeda trainers and bomb makers. The American, Mr. Abdulmutallab told the FBI, taught him how to prepare a martydom video, advising him to “keep it short and reference the Quran.”

Mr. al-Awkali told Mr. Abdulmutallab to hide his trail by first traveling from Yemen to an African country before booking a flight on which he planned to detonate the bomb.

Mr. Abdulmutallab flew from Ghana to Amsterdam before joining Northwest Airlines Flight 253 to Detroit.

He said the choice of the date for the attack had no special significance and was mainly dictated by ticket prices and flight schedules.

Before he departed, Mr. al-Awlaki sent him a final reminder: “Wait until you are in the U.S., then bring the plane down.”

He said he followed the progress of the flight on the seat-back screen. He waited until he approached the US border and went to the plane’s bathroom to make final preparations for the attack.

He thought of detonating the bomb in the bathroom but wanted to be certain that he was doing so over US soil, so he returned to his seat to check the map for a final time before igniting the explosives.

Maybe due to excess moisture, the bomb did not explode but let out a flame. As he tried to get his burning pants off, passengers pounced on him. One passenger punched him and a crew member threatened to throw him out of the plane.

He began confessing to the terror act even before leaving the plane. He said he was a member of Al Qaeda and that he had tried to set off a bomb. He later stopped talking and needed the presence of his relatives who were flown by U.S. authorities from Nigeria to persuade him to become cooperative again.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:"Warning to Men, These 3 Foods is Slowly Killing Your Erection". Click Here to Know Them

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • Broadway2

    Wasted life.

    • Otile

      Don’t say wasted life. He and every other Muslim believe that he was doing it for Islam and Allah will reward him handsomely with good virgins.

      • Broadway2

        How have they managed the Virgins on earth here. Canal minds.

    • CeeCee1818

      For someone so young with a bright future ahead, so sad really, and can you imagine what his parents are going through?

      • Otile

        They know he did it for Allahu, no regrets.

  • Ogbusa Oleh

    1)Dangote Rice:Promo Price: N11,500
    2)Dangote Spaghetti (20 X 500 g): Promo Price: N1,300
    3)Dangote Noodles: (40 X 70 g):Promo Price : N1,200
    4)Dangote Flour :Promo Price: N10,500
    5)Dangote Sugar : promo price: N10,500 and many more………hhhhgrtgftrtg

  • Impulse400

    How come Emperor Nero Trump forgot to add Nigeria to the list of countries banned from entering the USA..?. After all we have a Muslim President and there is this Pampers Bomber… that should be enough to set alarms off inside his racist brain.

    May be it was a network error.

    • Eluba Inas

      How come he has not put Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Afghanistan, etc? May be the list of the 7 countries banned has to do with something else for it does not look like terror.

      • CeeCee1818

        He has businesses in the countries you mentioned. No terrorists have come from the seven countries he cited.

    • Rommel

      POS,your hatred will drive you 6ft into the soil soon, 15 of the 19 sept 11 terrorists were from saudi Arabia,why is Saudi not on his list?

      • Impulse400

        You misunderstand me, brotherman. I only speak of my own first! If I cannot change my own for the better, why should I bother changing an Emirate far away…? You mistake severe scrutiny for hatred… why…? Let us shine sunlight on this country, not Nokia torch light.

  • Rommel

    I am yet to see the counter narrative to stories used by Jihadists to win converts since Muslims claim that the terrorists do not represent them, Christians believe that suicide leads someone straight to hell fire,what do Muslims believe?

    • blueeyedkitten

      in islam you can only kill for two reasons:
      for murder, and for treason. and even in such cases, the accused would have to be proved guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

      • Otile

        In islam you can also kill for blasphemy, to get rid of infidels, to loot infidel belongings, or to steal from a non Muslim. You know all these things.

        • AryLoyds

          Otile , always telling it as it is 🙂

          • Otile

            God bless you, my brother.

          • Mufu Ola

            Double mugus massaging each other!

          • serubawon70

            True. Telling “eat ass eat piss”

          • Otile

            You and your cohort Mugu Ola sound like pigs. Did you drink over-fermented burukutu?

          • Otile

            Mugu Ola,
            Is it true that one dollar is now equal to 512 Naira? If so what has Buhari done for Nigeria in 2 years? That means the creep is useless, and you people have been worshiping him for nothing. Mutane shege.

        • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

          When reason becomes a semantic feature of human, you become non-human for your absolute lack of reasoning.

    • AryLoyds

      Please leave we Christians (infidels) out of your so called narrative!

    • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

      Can you imagine how elementary this story is? Please read with some level of objectivity. The account did not say how an explosive belt evaded all the security apparatus at different airports in Africa and Europe. The belt let out smoke instead of explosion due to……excessive moisture?! And with all the training he ‘purportedly’ got from Yemen and other places….he could not handle it and started confessing on the spot. Fairy-tale!!! Meanwhile, kindly read up the profile of the father, who has a security company with links to FBI and you will be able to unravel this fairy tale. The US is known for constructing scenarios to push its agenda down the throats of non-discerning multitude and it has always worked for them. My take is all these are mere cock and bull stories and the account in this report is quite elementary…..

      • Impulse400

        The Pampers Bomber’s mentor was also CIA trained. Al-Qeada, is a CIA Secret middle east operation. It was used to help spread terror globally to blackmail the world into giving up its freedoms and civil liberties, handing control over to the “bearer of the solution” to the terror, which in most cases is the same orchestrater of the very terror.

  • Musa M. Dantsoho

    Counter evidence provided by one of the passenger eye witness sufficed Abdulmutallab.

  • Adele Uhuru

    This is exactly what the Northerners are exporting locally and globally also………………


    With the approval of his father who hails from Sudan—but carries our Nigerian National ID card—in first bank

  • JasV

    I just hope that his private part was very nicely roasted so that the pig can no longer do anything here on earth with women and in hell where the animal’s seven virgins are waiting.

  • George

    I hates Muslims, Murderers and liars

    • Mufu Ola

      And also Christians, especially several pastors who are specialists in rituals.

  • Etomi

    Be sure that most of the so-called Imams and Sheikhs are terrorists and trainers of terrorist. Terrorism begins in mosques!

    When will these mosques be raided!

    • Saleh Ngaski

      You will only get frustrated the more. Your hatred for Muslims will not affect Islam in any way. Islam will survive all intrigues and blackmail. God the Almighty is in control. The Muslims are never worried about your kind of hatred

      • Etomi

        A thousand of you can never emotionally blackmail me.

        The world does not have any issues with Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Judaism, Wicca, Paganism, Hinduism, etc…

        Rather, Islam is today the biggest problem of the world…

        It is the nursery bed and womb of terrorism and terrorists…

        I have read the Koran, and I cannot help but wonder where that book that teaches so much hate for non-Muslims emerged from?

        How dare you call others hateful…

        How do you explain a religion which in Koran 48:29 teaches its adherents to hate non-believers and love only the believers…

        Every other religion teaches love your neighbour as yourself; except Islam!

        ISLAM is EVIL!

        I hate EVIL!!!!

        • Saleh Ngaski

          Please save yourself from frustration. A million of you have tried severally to paint Islam black but failed. No amount of deceit, blackmail or intimidation will cause any harm on Islam or the Muslim. Whatever success people make in making Islam look bad before the people is definitely going to be temporary. Allah said in the Holy Qur’an “They plan, Allah plan, and Allah is the best of planners”. Every Muslim believe in this verse and that is why Islam is prospering despite national and international conspiracies against it. You only read the translated Qur’an whose authors might have been people like you. There is no religion that preaches peace, love, fairness and justice like Islam. Sure, Allah has vowed to defend Islam no matter what. There will be a Muslim or Muslims in your household no matter how long it takes.

          • Etomi

            I thought that you are quoting from Quran 3:54 that says Allah is the best of deceivers….

  • allfsanni

    Islam followed Prophet Christ 600 years after God started downloading Quran Holy into the brains of Prophet Muhammed. Peace and Blessings of God be on them. In history we learned that World power transferred from African black people Might is Right to White people with the discovery of gun powder. Ever since United States of America now became the leader in making smart gun powder weapons. When Israelite started occupation of their neighbors land that happened to be Muslims. Those neighbors behind in making these smart bombs complain that US supply the Isrealites bombs to subjugate them. They therefore turned to suicide bombing to retaliate to United States. Black people believe in physical fight to win wars not thrwing bomb fro skys that can drop to kill innocent people. families who comitt suicde in black neigborhoods usally are teased and forbidden to rest black tribes. So dont mix events with religion.