A Northwest Airlines passenger landing in Detroit on Friday tried to blow up the flight but the explosive device failed, two U.S. national security officials said.
The passenger, who was traveling on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam was being questioned Friday evening, according to one of the officials, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
The motive of the Christmas Day attack was not immediately clear.
"He appears to have had some kind of incendiary device he tried to ignite," said one of the U.S. officials.
A senior law enforcement source speaking to CBS News has identified the suspect as Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23.
As the plane was on final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the suspect lit and set off what were at first described as fireworks or firecrackers but may have been another type of explosive.
The explosive material was apparently taped to the man's leg and lit the lower part of his body. He was immediately subdued and restrained and was later transported to a hospital burn unit.
If this was an attempted terrorist attack, it sure wasn't very sophisticated. Thankfully it sounds like he was the only one harmed very badly. I feel for all of the people trying to fly with this going on. It's going to make the lines worse than ever. I'm sure we'll have more on this later as we learn more.