Last Friday, 23 year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight prior to landing in Detroit. The device failed, however. Abdulmutallab was restrained by passengers and the flight crew until the plane landed.
It is now believed that Abdulmutallab was ‘groomed’ by al-Qaeda as an undergraduate at the University College of London. From 2006-2007, he was president of the school’s Islamic Society, when he invited controversial speakers to talk about jihad. Shockingly, he is the fourth president of a London student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years.
Abdulmutallab’s attack was reportedly planned by al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula, and he was dispatched from Yemen. The fact that the plot had roots in Yemen should not be surprising. As Jonathan Schanzer noted in the Weekly Standard, Yemen has been releasing dangerous Islamists from jail for several years.