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U.S. News

FACTBOX: Timeline of attempt to blow up U.S. airliner

(Reuters) - Following are details from an FBI affidavit released on Saturday about a Nigerian man’s attempt to blow up a U.S. commercial airliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.

- On December 25 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, boarded Northwest Airlines flight 253 in Amsterdam bound for Detroit carrying a total of 278 passengers and 11 crew members.

- Abdulmutallab went to the bathroom for about 20 minutes and then returned to his seat, pulling a blanket over himself and complaining that his stomach was upset.

- Passengers reported that they then heard popping noises that sounded similar to firecrackers being set off and that they smelled an odor. Some passengers reported that Abdulmutallab’s trousers and the airplane wall were on fire.

- Abdulmutallab was quickly subdued and restrained by passengers and crew members. Fire extinguishers were used to put out the flames.

- Asked by a flight attendant what he had in his pocket, Abdulmutallab said an “explosive device.” A passenger told investigators that he also saw Abdulmutallab holding what appeared to be a partially melted syringe that was smoking. The passenger took it, extinguished it and threw it to the floor of the aircraft.

- Abdulmutallab was taken to University of Michigan Health System Hospital after the plane landed for treatment.

- A preliminary analysis of the explosive device discovered that it contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, the same explosive used by the so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid who tried to blow up a transatlantic jumbo commercial airliner just over eight years ago.

Sources: FBI affidavit, Justice Department.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky in Washington, Editing by Eric Walsh

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