Bombing Attempt Flight 253, Dec 25 2009

From Reuters and AP

A Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria, who said he was acting on al-Qaeda's instructions, tried to blow up the plane today as it was landing in Detroit, law enforcement and national security officials said. A senior U.S. counterterror official says a passenger aboard a Delta Air Lines flight in Detroit was planning to blow up the plane but the explosive device failed, the Associated Press reported today. Passengers subdued the man and may have prevented him from detonating the explosives, the officials said.

A White House official said the incident was an attempted act of terrorism....Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., ranking GOP member of the House Homeland Security Committee, identified the suspect as Abdul Mudallad, a Nigerian. King said the flight began in Nigeria and went through Amsterdam en route to Detroit.

There were 278 passengers aboard the Airbus 330." A Reuters report quotes Rep. King as saying, "My understanding is ... that he does have al Qaeda connections, certainly extremist terrorist connections, and his name popped up pretty quickly" in a search of intelligence data bases.

The GCP event was set for 11:00 to 19:00 Detroit time. Flight 253 was scheduled to land at 11:40, and the bombing attempt was reported as prior to landing approach to Detroit. Though I have not found the actual time, it probably was after 11. The news began spreading very quickly, and was more clearly a close call after a few hours. The 8-hour event was intended to capture the developing emotional response. Results show Chisquare 28869 on 28800 df, for p = 0.386 and Z = 0.289.

Bombing Attempt
Flight 253, Dec 25 2009

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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