A Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria, who said he was acting on al-Qaida's instructions, set off an explosive device Friday in a failed terrorist attack on the plane as it was landing in Detroit, federal officials said.
Flight 253 with 278 passengers aboard was 20 minutes from the airport when it sounded like a firecracker had exploded, witnesses said. One passenger jumped over others and tried to subdue the man. Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to a front row seat with his pants cut off and his legs burned.
The White House said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel, but were not specified.
As always in such a situation, it remains fluid.