Flight 253 Review Details Embassy Meeting With Abdulmutallab’s Father


The White House just released the unclassified summary of the security review of Flight 253, and we’ve given it a read for new facts about what was known about Umar Abdulmutallab.

What’s new here? Not much, seemingly. But here’s one nugget that popped out providing some clarity on the nature of the visit by Abdulmutallab’s father to a US embassy in Nigeria:

For example, on November 18, Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father met with U.S. Embassy officers in Abuja, Nieria, to discuss his concerns that his son may have come under the influence of unidentified extremists, and had planned to travel to Yemen. Though this information alone could not predict Mr. Abdulmutallab’s eventual involvement in the attempted 25 December attack, it provided an opportunity to link information on him with earlier intelligence reports that contained fragmentary information.

A report in Time, citing “a source close to the family,” suggested that Abdulmutallab’s father knew about a specific airline plot by his son. But the security review suggests that if the father did know about a plot, he did not give the information to the embassy.

It also definitively puts the date of the embassy contact as Nov. 18. One report in the New York Times said it was in October.

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