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Nigerian man charged in Christmas airliner attack

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DETROIT – A 23-year-old Nigerian man who claimed ties to al-Qaida was charged Saturday with trying to destroy a Detroit-bound airliner, as authorities learned his father warned U.S. officials of concerns about his son's religious beliefs. The suspect claimed to have received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, a law enforcement official said on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Some airline passengers traveling Saturday felt the consequences of the frightening Christmas Day attack. They were told that new U.S. regulations prevented them from leaving their seats beginning an hour before landing. The Justice Department charged that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO-mahr fah-ROOK ahb-DOOL-moo-TAH-lahb) willfully attempted to destroy or wreck an aircraft; and that he placed a destructive device in the plane. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman read Abdulmutallab the charges in a conference room at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. where he is being treated for burns. An affidavit said he had a device containing a high explosive attached to his body. The affidavit said that as Northwest Flight 253 descended toward Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Abdulmutallab set off the device — sparking a fire instead of an explosion.

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