Flight 253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport


By Sheena Harrison | MLive.com
December 26, 2009, 2:22PM

A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.'”

Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab's lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.

The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn't see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.

Haskell said the flight was mostly unremarkable. That was until he heard a flight attendant say she smelled smoke, just after the pilot announced the plane would land in Detroit in 10 minutes. Haskell got out of his seat to view the brewing commotion.

“I stood up and walked a couple feet ahead to get a closer look, and that's when I saw the flames,” said Haskell, who sat about seven rows behind Mutallab. “It started to spread pretty quickly. It went up the wall, all the way to ceiling.”

Haskell, who described Mutallab as a diminutive man who looks like a teenager, said about 30 seconds passed between the first mention of smoke and when Mutallab was subdued by fellow passengers.

“He didn't fight back at all. This wasn't a big skirmish,” Haskell said. “A couple guys jumped on him and hauled him away.”

The ordeal has Haskell and his wife a little shaken. Flight attendants were screaming during the fire and the pilot sounded notably nervous when bringing the plane in for a landing, he said.

“Immediately, the pilot came on and said two words: emergency landing,” Haskell said. “And that was it. The plane sped up instead of slowing down. You could tell he floored it.”

As Mutallab was being led out of the plane in handcuffs, Haskell said he realized that was the same man he saw trying to board the plane in Amsterdam.

Passengers had to wait about 20 minutes before they were allowed to exit the plane. Haskell said he and other passengers waited about six hours to be interviewed by the FBI.

About an hour after landing, Haskell said he saw another man being taken into custody. But a spokeswoman from the FBI in Detroit said Mutallab was the only person taken into custody.

© 2009 MLive.com. All rights reserved.

I'd be curious to see..

I'd be curious to see if a picture or description of the suited man will ever come out. That's the real terrorist right there. Mutallub is the lowest rung on the ladder. An expendable resource for the real planners, financiers of terrorism. I heard pandering for the use of profiling young muslim men from a right wing echo chamber show on my way into work. You know they'll be using this to drive the wedges even deeper in this country.

"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear."
- Douglas MacArthur

Quote sums up the current zeitgeist.

"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear."
- Douglas MacArthur
I've never seen this quote before but what a mouthful!!!!
Considering that we are living in a time of relative peace worldwide and yet we can't go 15 minutes without hearing about war or terror on the news channels, this quote could never be more timely nor true.

nullius in verba.

next time, take a piss...

The simple fact that neither Mutallab nor Richard Reid in 2001 opted with going into the infinitely more secure and discreet bathrooms to detonate their "explosives" makes the planning/execution for such elaborate "terrorist plots" extremely suspicious.

Perhaps both of these guys

Perhaps both of these guys were patsies who were given explosives that could only do physical mischief but not take the plane down. I simply don't know what amount of explosives they had. It's possible that a "handler" was on board to make sure that the fire was put out so to speak and then the incidents would be milked for maximum fear factor.

If this is true the key to understanding how these men were recruited to doing these crazy things is the hard one to figure out. Were they programmed nut cases who believed that they would be martyred? Is that something that can actually be cultivated? Unless this type of programming can be demonstrated or proven, it's would more likely be that these were the random acts of copycats who wanted to "free lance".

One of the themes of asymmetrical warfare is that one can use random acts from individuals as opposed to engaging in battles of armies on a battlefield. The foot soldiers in these struggles probably accept that they will die, but that their individual death will cause a much greater impact, like destroying a plane or a restaurant full of people etc. Once this mind set of sacrifice or martyrdom has taken hold in this class of dissidents it may be easy to recruit them into random acts of terrorism or they may actually be encourage to free lance adopting this paradigm.

Obviously explosives need to be obtained and learning to use them may require free lancers to interact with "known" terrorists groups even if they are not executing a group plan. Here it is possible for intel plants to encounter, identify and even "encourage" these free lancers and put them under some level of surveillance in a kind of entrapment, if intel can foil the plot. I believe the FBI played such a role in the 93 WTC bombing and essentially were "co conspirators" in that event and failed to prevent it, or the more sinister interpretation, let it happen to "milk it" for the anti terror agenda that intel was trying to stand up.

I would like to learn more about this man as it seems his father apparently knew he was a loose canon so it wasn't exactly a secret that he may have been up to no good. Whatever the case is, I suspect that intel will manage the news that is released and it we may never be told the real back story.

Dutch police investigate

Dutch police investigate terror plot accomplice
heraldscotland staff

0 commentsPublished on 28 Dec 2009

Dutch military police are investigating the possibility that an accomplice may have helped the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.

An American couple on the flight, Kurt and Lori Haskell, claimed that they saw a tall, well-dressed man aged about 50 with the suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Friday morning at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

The Haskells have claimed the man spoke for Abdulmutallab and attempted to get him aboard Northwest flight 253 without a passport.

“At this moment we have no information on whether there was another guy,” the military police spokesman said. “We are checking all clues and information we get.”

The spokesman added that the military police and the counter-terrorism agency NCTb were reviewing CCTV video and other evidence to see if the accomplice story bears out.

The military police have already said Abdulmutallab did not go through passport control at Schiphol when he arrived from Lagos.

But the spokesman said it would be unlikely the man could board the plane without showing his passport at some point in the boarding process.