(AFP) – Jan 10, 2010
JERUSALEM — An Israeli security firm has come under fire for failing to detect Nigerian bomb suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab despite separate US intelligence failures, an Israeli paper reported on Sunday.
The Israeli-owned ICTS company did not identify the 23-year-old charged in connection with the failed Christmas Day bombing as a flight risk despite several warning signs, the Haaretz newspaper said.
"Even if US intelligence failed and the name of the Nigerian passenger was not pinpointed as a suspect for the airline, he should have stirred the suspicion of the security officers," the newspaper said.
"His age, name, illogical travel route, high-priced ticket purchased at the last minute, his boarding without luggage (only a carry-on) and many other signs should have been sufficient to alert the security officers and warrant further examination of the suspect."
The Netherlands-based firm provides security services in airports in 11 countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Hungary, Romania and Russia, the newspaper reported.
It was established in 1982 by former agents of Israel's internal Shin Bet security service and former El Al airline security agents, the paper added.
The company uses security measures pioneered in Israel which are aimed at assessing the degree to which a passenger is a threat based on several factors, including name, age, nationality and behaviour during questioning.
On Friday, Abdulmutallab pleaded not guilty to six charges, including the attempted murder of 290 people on board the Northwest flight from Amsterdam as it descended into Detroit.
He faces life imprisonment if convicted.
The son of a prominent Nigerian banker was arrested after the botched Al-Qaeda plot, in which explosives allegedly stitched into his underwear failed to detonate.
The foiled bombing triggered global alarm, leading the United States to adopt stringent new screening and security measures at airports around the world. Dozens of names have also been added to no-fly lists.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »