Chaos Continues After Attempted Terrorist Attack

The British Embassy is still closed in Yemen following an incident involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day 2009. He is a Nigerian born young man who was studying at an Arabic Language School in Yemen. He was described as almost “secular” when he first arrived in the country, but soon became deeply involved in the Islamic religion.

On the outside, Abdulmutallab was a pleasant and polite young man. His classmates have described how he was always pleasant to non-Muslims and liked children; they never would have guessed that he would try to set of a bomb on a public transatlantic flight. On December 25th, Abdulmutallab boarded Flight 253 from Amsterdam to the United States carrying a bomb; luckily, he was apprehended by staff and fellow passengers before he was able to set it off.

What Abdulmutallab’s classmates did not know was that he was leading a double life – he longed to die as a martyr, as a suicide bomber for Al-Qaeda. There were only very subtle hints that could have been an indication to his extremist links; he was described as quiet, a man who kept to himself. He also had negative views about Americans and non-Muslims, but rarely voiced these. A fellow student at the Sanaa Institute for the Arabic Language said that Abdulmutallab had skipped all classes during the month of Ramadan (a holy month for Muslims) and spent much of his time in the Old City visiting the Mosque.

Abdulmutallab was well travelled; due to a Masters degree he was taking in Dubai, he had a residency visa for the United Arab Emirates, and also had obtained several visas to the United States. He has also spent time in London, much to the fear of London escorts living and working in the city.

Abdulmutallab was due to leave Yemen when his course ended; it was around this time that he was believed to have undergone Al-Qaeda training at remote camps. He reportedly left the country shortly before he boarded the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on a Delta Airlines jet. Abdulmutallab claims that one of the men who trained him was Anwar al-Awlaki, whose previous sermons were attended by 2 of the 9/11 bombers. There have been reports recently that the preacher was killed in an air strike, but he is now believed to still be alive.

There is currently fighting between Yemeni forces and Al-Qaeda terrorists, causing the closure of the British Embassy in Yemen. It is thought to be unsafe in that area at the moment.