UK's MI5 launches hunt for Detroit bomber's accomplices

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Washington, Dec. 28 (ANI): British intelligence outfit MI5 has launched a hunt for possible accomplices of the Detroit airline bomber amid fears that he may have been planning to launch the attack from Britain.

According to The Telegraph, sources believe that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, 23, may have developed links with other extremists during the three years he spent studying at University College London.

The suspect was on an intelligence database but was not on the government's no-fly list, meaning he was known to authorities but not considered a high risk.

MI5 is concerned that the son of a respected Nigerian banker was "off the radar" while living in Britain from 2005 to 2008 on a student visa.

Little more than a year later he went on to attempt a terrorist attack after being trained by al-Qaeda.

Officers are trying to track his movements and activities while in the country amid suspicions that he may not have acted alone.

Mutallab was under heavy guard in hospital after his failed attempt to set off a bomb on a passenger jet containing 278 passengers and 11 crew as it came in to land in Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day.

They suspect that he had planned to launch the attack from Britain but was stopped after being refused a student visa earlier this year to study at a college that was judged to have been bogus.

President Barack Obama ordered a review of US screening measures after it emerged that Mutallab was put on a "watch list" of terrorist suspects in November but was not included on a "no-fly" list that would have stopped him from flying into the US.

MI5 and the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command have drafted in extra staff to search for any links Mutallab may have to radicals. (ANI)

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