Father of Nigerian-born terrorist Mutallab unlikely to attend Jan 8 trial in Detroit
Houston, Jan 5, 2010: As the American, British and Nigerian intelligence agencies continue to sort through leads and analyze the radical Islamic networks of relationships and influences which fostered and facilitated Farouk Abdul Mutallab alleged terrorism plot, the world awaits the word on who will be at the family section of the young Mutallab terrorism-related court trial in Detroit on January 8, 2010.
Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks and USAfricaonline.com can report that based on information, at this time, deriving from multiple familiar sources we spoke to/contacted who are associated with the senior Mutallab: the father of the al-Qaeda-bred zealot and wealthy Nigerian secular and Islamic banking investor Alhaji Umaru Mutallab is not likely going to be at the opening trial; if any. This does not rule out the presence of any of the family members, including the alleged terrorist’s traumatized mother, Aisha.
Information from some of USAfrica’s various, key contacts within the U.S and inside Nigeria, especially Abuja, Katsina and Lagos seem to affirm the likely decision (yet unannounced) that Alhaji Mutallab will not to attend the opening trial.
“It has presented him with a major dilemma. It’s a difficult decision for the Alhaji”, one of the USAfrica sources said in our chat.
This well-connected person inside Nigeria noted the critical issue is that: “I believe the Alhaji knows it is a different matter he expressed concerns about his son’s religious views and trip to Yemen to the U.S embassy in Nigeria, privately; it is another thing to have him travel to another country (the U.S) to testify for or against his own son. He may well simply be an observer. We all will be watching to see what happens….”
The man is torn between showing a father’s legitimate concern for his now infamous 23-year-old son, Farouk Abdul Mutallab, and the risky appearance of being misunderstood as providing indirect and unintended technical accommodation for Farouk’s alleged violent plot.
The older Mutallab, a conservative Muslim was born born in 1939 in the north-central state of Katsina (home of the current, ailing president of Nigeria Umar Yar’Adua).
The factual detail and full scope of what he told the CIA desk officers at the U.S embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, continues to be a source of finger-pointing among the security agencies, especially Nigeria’s. There are informal and angry denials and leaks in Abuja and Lagos that the Alhaji did not report his concerns about his son’s radical Islamic views/associations and safety to his own country’s (Nigeria) law enforcement authorities; which seems largely a reflection of the level of minimal trust Nigerian elites have on those agencies and minimal prosecution of radical Islamic zealotry in the country.
Another source told USAfricaonline.com that “knowing Mutallabs as well as I do, I do not expect the young man’s father to be directly involved. But he has a good network of other senior and influential Alhajis and close friends who may offer very discreet care for Farouk’s well-being during the trial… but nothing openly.”
Without a doubt, the Alhaji has the clout inside and outside Nigeria. Having reported and followed key aspects Umaru Mutallab and other members of Nigeria’s military and civilian elite, I know that the older Mutallab benefitted from his deft positioning across an immense network of family, geo-ethnic and professional layers of interests.
Consequently, the man has had a near permanent presence on Nigeria’s economic landscape as government official, banking investor, facilitator or shareholder — working the levers of power– all through civilian and military governments in Nigeria for more than 35 years.
One problem: international terrorism cases are not charge and bail litigations — even for the most influential of Nigerian Alhajis. Especially made more complicated by the evidenced allegation that Farouk is the terror-executor who fumbled an al-Qaeda-inspired plan to blow up a Delta-NorthWest Airlines flight 235 set to land in America’s troubled motor city of Detroit on Christmas Day December 25, 2009.
Within 72 hours, we will see who among the Mutallabs’ will be at the court in Detroit.
Or will the mogul businessman and flabbergasted father of Farouk show signal concern for his son’s well-being by attending the trial in Detroit? Or will the Alhaji allow his radicalized son to face the harsh music of the war on terrorism for being an airborne mujahadeen of the al-Qaeda? Or will he simply allow other members of the Mutallab family, especially, the young man’s mother to rally around their prodigal son….?? ——– Chido Nwangwu, former member of the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria (1989-1990), is the Founder & Publisher of first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine, PhotoWorks.TV, AchebeBooks.com, USAfrica.TV and several blogs. He served on Houston former Mayor Lee Brown’s international business advisory board (Africa), appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, NBCNews, CBSNews, ABCNews FOXNews affiliates and honored by the Washington-D.C.-based National Immigration Forum for utilizing multimedia to fight authoritarianism and foster freedom of expression; served on the board of the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S., the NAACP (Houston); publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009.