WASHINGTON – A senior US politician hailed Saturday the heroism of passengers and crew who apprehended the would-be Detroit airline bomber and promised that Congress would investigate the attack thoroughly.
"We are forever indebted to the heroic passengers and flight attendants who sought to subdue the suspect," said Bennie Thompson, chairman of the homeland security committee in the House of Representatives.
"The reported act of terrorism, whether directly related to Al-Qaeda or not, and the response to it will be the focus of an oversight hearing next month," Thompson said.
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A 23-year-old Nigerian, identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, was taken into custody Friday after being overcome by passengers and crew as he attempted to ignite an incendiary device on a plane with 278 passengers on board.
"The Committee will get to the bottom of what did and did not happen with Mr. Abdulmutallab and what security precautions need to take place in the future," Thompson said.
Several witnesses said a passenger tackled Abdulmutallab, who was then dragged to the front of the plane by the cabin crew and isolated as the aircraft landed in Detroit.
The suspect is reportedly receiving treatment for third-degree burns at a Michigan medical center after his device apparently failed to go off as planned.
© AFP 2013