Father of accused Nigerian terrorist ‘flabbergasted, but not surprised’ -USAfrica Publisher tells CBSNews 11

Father of accused Nigerian terrorist said to be ‘flabbergasted, but not surprised’ — CBSNews KHOU Channel 11 Houston interviews USAfrica Publisher Chido Nwangwu

By Alex Sanz / Channel 11 News. Posted on December 27, 2009 at 2:58 PM

video here: http://www.khou.com/news/national/Family-friend-Father-of-accused-terrorist-flabbergasted-but-not-surprised-80149957.html

HOUSTON — A prominent, Nigerian-born Houstonian, who’s been in touch with closefamily friends of accused terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmootallab, says his arrest has shocked Nigerians in Houston. “You follow the money,” said Chido Nwangwu. “You know, what brought him to Houston? How long did he stay here? Who funded his coming here? If he did, what form of expenses did he make? Who were his consults? You know, who were his facilitators while he was in Houston?”

Abdulmootallab, the 23-year-old son of a prominent Nigerian banker, is charged with trying to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day as it was preparing to land in Detroit.  He lived until recently in a swanky family apartment in West London, where he moved to in 2005 to study engineering.

Close family friends tell Nwangwu that the key to unraveling Abdulmootallab’s alleged action’s may be in Yemen, a country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, where al-Qaida has increasingly found safe haven.

“There is a Yemeni member of their family, and this is important,” said Nwangwu. “He’s a young man who is tended more to his religion. He’s also a social — a sociable — individual. Having of course the family networks that move close into Yemen, it’s a fairly interesting, but combustible mix. Sons of wealthy persons sometimes engage in extremist activities. At some point influences that were extraordinary impacted him.”

Abdulmootallab’s father, Alhaji Abdulmootallab, spent the past decade as chair of Nigeria’s First Bank, and is among Nigeria’s wealthiest families. It now appears Abdulmootallab was aware of his son’s extremist views and had shared his concerns with U.S. officials as recently as last month.

“Some of his friends that I spoke with this morning in Nigeria said he’s flabergasted and, um, I’ll say not entirely too surprised,” said Nwangwu. “That is he’s not being too surprised knowing that his son was engaged, or at least spoke to terms of zealotry, terms of extremism and potentially the consequences, I imagine, as we know them today.”

Still under investigation are the circumstances surrounding Umar Abdulmootallab’s recent visit to Houston. Sources tell 11News FBI agents were sent to a northwest Houston Sheraton hours after Northwest Airlines Flight 253 landed in Detroit. Abdulmootallahb has claimed connections to al-Qaida. It’s not known how solid those connections are — or if he acted alone.

“I am very concerned [and] worried that if this can happen [to his] family it can happen to most other Nigerians who are well-placed,” said Chido Nwangwu, publisher of Houston-based USAfrica, the largest African-owned newspapers in the United States.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Yes a terrorist was brought forth but I praise God that a righteous man was found in Nigeria!! A man that would stand up against the pressure of society and anounce that his son is an extremest, especially being a promenient man and from a well-to-do family! I also thank God that it has been revealed to America that lest God keep a nation no man can. With all that security tactics what can we do alone to protect our lives?

    NIGERIA: a nation being raised to righteousness! One "Father" at a time!!!

  2. I think i disagree with Smith, what else will a man do other than to alert the authorities of the danger. how many fathers will come out boldly to say that thier son is involve in this kind of think even when he has not seen life evidence apart from his cations. i think someone in the US embassy, FBi and the other authorities concern should be underfire now. this is gross misconduct that could have lead to loss of lifes.

    thank God

  3. I think i disagree with Smith, what else will a man do other than to alert the authorities of the danger. how many fathers will come out boldly to say that thier son is involve in this kind of think even when he has not seen life evidence apart from his cations. i think some

  4. The father can attempt to cover up his flaws but , this is what i describe as God visiting the sins of the father on the children to their fourth generation, the father too should be investigated.

    • I agree with you Smith…But I would rather say "Let not the sins of these family be the sufferings of an entire nation…investigate everyone that has anything to do with them, far and near…"

    • Dr. Peter says:

      I applause the action of Alhaji Abdumootallab, he is a man of solid principle and a sound level of integrity. It's unfair to say otherwise.

      If Nigeria can have fifty of such men as Abraham requested from God to spear Sodom and Gomorah from destruction, to regain the lost Glory of Ngeria, Nigeria will once more be called the giant of Africa.

      Alhaji Abdumootallab is a man Nigerians should be proud of, what ever his past might have been. He who does good, having unlimited power to do evil deserves double praise. He deserves double praise, not only for the good he has done but also for the evil which he left undone. I thank God for him.

      I also believe very strongly that one or more people in the air plane were in prayer through the duration of the flight and God heard their prayers. The prayers of the righteous availeth much. THANK GOD.

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