There were reports that 'firecrackers' had gone off on a flight from Holland to Detroit on Friday. Several people were slightly hurt. US Intelligence sources have now told the Associated Press the suspect said he was acting for Al-Qaeda.
The source, said to be a "senior US counter-terror official", said the man intended to blow Delta Flight 253 up, but the bomb failed. There was panic on the Airbus 330 which had 278 passengers on board. One person, possibly the suspect, was sent to the University of Michigan Medical Center at Ann Arbor, according to a hospital spokesperson.
ABC news are naming that suspect as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, who they say is an engineering student at University College, London. (Wall Street Journal: "Abdul Mudallad"; MSNBC: "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab".) They also add that he was flying to the United States for a religious ceremony. He was in government databases, they say, but not on a no-fly list.
As for the Al-Qaeda link, again via ABC:
Authorities have no corroboration of that information, and the credibility of the suspect's statements are being questioned, officials said.
The White House response, via Fox News (who can report straight sometimes):
President Barack Obama was notified of the incident by a military aide while vacationing with his family in Hawaii and convened a secure conference call with Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism Adviser John Brennan and NSS Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to discuss it, White House spokesman Bill Burton said.
"He asked to arrange a subsequent secure call and in that call instructed that all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel. The President is actively monitoring the situation and receiving regular updates," Burton said in a statement.
More as it comes in.
Update:CNN says the Department of Homeland Security will not be raising the airline terror alert from "high" but some additional security measures will be taken at airports, which could include "extra screening" and more canine teams. Good news: Potential terrorist plot failed. Bad news: Going home from the holidays just got a little more annoying.
CNN is also reporting a weird coincidence: Another guy was arrested today on the same route, same airline, (different flight) for shouting "pro-Afghanistan, anti-American" statements and generally being rowdy. Law enforcement say the two incidents aren't related—the guy was just drunk: