Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flight 253 - The Inside Story

The Detroit News

Northwest Airlines Flight 253 sits on a Metro Airport runway after the attempted attack on Dec. 25. (J.P. Karas Associated Press)
"I had a very uncomfortable feeling about this flight," Scotti Keepman recalled later. "It was too chaotic, with people from all over the world and sloppy airline security."
Inside story of terror on Flight 253Passengers on Detroit-bound jet recount failed attack that changed their lives
The Detroit News

After the screams died down and the smoke dissipated, the passenger cabin of Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day was eerily quiet. An Indian woman stared out the window at the fast-approaching subdivisions and freeways surrounding Detroit Metro Airport. A businessman frantically texted on his BlackBerry. A scared mother clutched her children.
The Keepman family held hands and sang "Jesus Loves Me." Roey Rosenblith hummed the Sh'ma and braced himself for what he feared was an upcoming crash.
In Row 1, Melinda Dennis focused on the bare foot of a silent young man across the aisle, the foot flexing up and down slowly as the jet dove toward a runway. Underwear bunched up around the man's ankles, rising and falling with the methodical movement of his foot. A gray blanket covered most of the man's naked legs and groin, but left exposed white and black patches of burned flesh on the side facing Dennis.
Flight attendant Dionne Ransom-Monroe leaned over the half-naked man.
"What did you have in your pants?" she asked.  Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab whispered something. The flight attendant leaned closer and asked again.  "What did you have in your pants?"  "Explosive device," he said louder, his right foot flexing up and down, up and down.
In a series of interviews with The Detroit News, passengers from four continents described details of the attempted terrorist attack never before released to the public. Many never saw what happened, and most didn't realize until hours later that they had shared their Christmas Day flight with a terrorist bent on bringing down the airplane. 

"CHAOS SWIRLS" continued here ...

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