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December 30 2009 - January 5 2010
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
Best of British Vote for your favourite expat places and win a trip to London
Christmas secrets Letters by the Princess of Wales reveal her impatience with gifts
WORLD NEWS P15
Happy new health Obama gets a new year boost as Senate passes health care Bill
Hope in Helmand Thomas Harding on how things are looking up in Afghanistan
Imaginary friends How a fictional teacher got pally with the powerful
1815 26 32 36 37 2 8 23 25 36 42
Bonus Ball 22
Bonus Ball 30
There were no winners of either Wednesday’s or Saturday’s jackpots. Next week is a double rollover
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Continued from page 1 agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. British security officers will need to explain why they remained unaware of a would-be terrorist living in London for three years.
Earlier this year, Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, suggested that al-Qaeda cells in Britain were being forced to “keep their heads down” due to the success of the service’s operations.
The attempted atrocity will also prompt concerns in the US that Britain is increasingly being used as a base by Islamic extremists planning attacks overseas. In Washington, US officials are already under pressure to explain why the threat posed by Mutallab was not taken more seriously and why alarm bells did not ring when he paid for his ticket in cash and did not check in any luggage.
Embassy officials in Nigeria, who had been warned of Mutallab’s behaviour by his father, were accused of not wording their warning more strongly. Mutallab has told the FBI that al-Qaeda provided the bomb materials and training after he made contact with a cell in Yemen. He bought a ticket for almost $3,000 and, carrying a US visa issued in London last year, returned to Nigeria on December 24. He flew to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam and transferred to the flight to Detroit.
His device included PETN, one of the ingredients of the plastic explosive Semtex, but got through security in Nigeria and Holland. He had allegedly hidden the powder in a condom strapped to his inner thigh along with a syringe of liquid to mix with it. It is thought that he assembled the device in the lavatory after complaining to fellow passengers about a stomach upset. It ignited but did not explode. Mutallab lived with relatives in a West End apartment while studying at UCL but cut off ties with his family after he graduated. He
> ON BOARD FLIGHT 253
> SEATING ON FLIGHT 253
SEAT 20J Jasper Schuringa
passengers and crew were onboard the A330
SEAT 19A Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab
1 Shortly before Northwest Flight 253 is due to land at Detroit, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab spends 20 minutes in the lavatory before returning to seat
19A clutching a pillow
2 He complains of an upset stomach and pulls a blanket over himself to conceal a syringe used to inject chemicals into a powder-filled condom sewn into his underwear
3 Passengers hear a popping sound and smell a strange odour. Those closest see Mutallab's trouser leg and the wall of the airplane next to him on fire
4 Jasper Schuringa (below),
in seat 20J, sees the smoke and jumps across the centre section of seats.
He rips the device from Mutallab's leg and pats down the flames
Schuringa pulls Mutallab from his seat as crew douse the flames. Mutallab is taken to first class where he is stripped, searched and handcuffed.
He remains there until police board the plane
Graphic Andrew Blenkinsop moved to the Middle East and then to Yemen, sending a text message last August warning them that they might not see him for a number of years.
There was another alert on
Sunday night after a second plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Detroit.
The pilot raised the alarm after a Nigerian on the flight from Amsterdam locked himself in the lavatory for up to an hour. He was eventually dragged out after crew broke down the door. It later emerged that he had been feeling sick.
By Richard Spencer CRACKS appeared in the Islamic regime’s control of Iran on Sunday as security forces failed to quell protests across the country.
Demonstrators set fire to banks and government buildings, including local headquarters of the feared Basij militia, and there were reports that some police officers were refusing orders to shoot into the crowds.
Opposition groups said at least nine people were killed in Tehran and Tabriz as the Basij and other regime forces used gunfire and tear gas in an unsuccessful attempt to clear crowds of people chanting slogans against the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Videos and photographs posted online and emailed abroad by opposition groups showed scenes of conflict. One was of a young protester, who was being comforted on the ground on Keshavarz Boulevard with blood pouring from his head.
Another of the five victims in Tehran was an elderly man, who also received gunshot wounds to the head. Also among those killed was the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the pro-reform former prime minister whose defeat in presidential elections by the hardline incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, triggered weeks of protests in June.
Police and security forces had been expecting trouble on Sunday, the seventh day of mourning for the death of Iran’s leading reformist cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Hossein Montazeri.
It was also the politically symbolic commemoration of Ashura, when Shia Muslims remember the Imam Hussein, the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, whom they believe was martyred by the tyrannical Caliph Yazid. The authorities had issued warnings, roundly ignored, that the commemorations should not be tainted with anti-regime demonstrations.
Attempts to force back demonstrators – chanting “Death to the dictator” and “Khamenei will be toppled”– with tear gas failed. Baton charges and shots fired into the air also had little effect, leading to the order to shoot directly into the crowds, according to opposition websites. Three people died in the first volley. There were also dozens of injuries, with victims reportedly leaving hospital as soon as they were treated to avoid being identified by the authorities.