Authorities drew up the indictment of Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, who is identified as the person who attempted to detonate explosives on Northwest Airlines flight 253.
Sources state that Abdulmutallab attempted to explode 80 grams of PETN. PETN or Pentaerythritol tetranitrate is a military grade explosive.
I’m familiar with PETN from working on the police department’s bomb squad. It’s used in Det Cord (Cord used for door breaching as well as a tertiary detonating device). Apparently Abdulmutallab’s detonator did not work properly, otherwise, hundreds of people would quite likely have died. Without a detonator, PETN will only burn like C4. Richard Reid, the notorious Shoe Bomber of 2001 also used PETN but only 20 grams. That bomb also failed to explode. Al-Qaeda is aware that the current scanners used by TSA at airports will not reliably detect PETN.
Though further investigation is needed, it appears that Abdulmutallab was radicalized by al-Qaeda contacts in Yemen, specifically Imam Anwar Awlaki whom with Fort Hood shooting suspect Major Hassan spoke to on several occasions.
Incredibly, Abdulmutallab is on a US terrorist watch list but not on a no fly list. Abdulmutallab’s father even called a US embassy warning of his son’s radicalization and asking why he was allowed to fly.
The Army’s political correctness in the Hassan case is beyond shameful–its borderline traitorous. What could have led anyone in the government to ignore the case of Abdulmutallab is anyone’s guess.