Christmas Day Terrorist Had Enough Explosives To Take Down The Plane

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Dec 28, 2009 9:39 AM
Initial reports didn't provide details about failed terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's explosives. News today revealed that he was carrying pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, a powerful substance that would've been enough to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253. That's the same stuff failed shoe bomber Richard Reid  tried to detonate on an American Airlines flight in 2001. If Reid, or Abdulmutallab, had been successful, the planes could have been taken down.

Here's the scary report from the New York Times:
Some passengers aboard Flight 253 said they heard popping noises similar to firecrackers, smelled a burning odor and observed Mr. Abdulmutallab’s pants leg and a wall of the airplane on fire. Passengers and crew members subdued Mr. Abdulmutallab and used blankets and fire extinguishers to put out the flames, according to the criminal complaint.