Charges laid over failed plane bombing

The man accused of attempting to blow up an American airliner on Christmas day has been indicted on six counts.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, faces charges including the attempted murder of the other 289 passengers and crew and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The explosives were concealed in his underpants which he tried to detonate as the plane was approaching Detroit from Amsterdam. People sitting near him managed to restrain him and extinguish the flames.

Since then, US intelligence has been heavily criticised for a series of blunders that led to Abdulmutallab managing to board the plane despite being on a list of suspected terrorists.

It was also revealed the explosive device had been provided by al Qaeda in Yemen. In response, the US has named several countries it considers high risk and whose nationals will be subjected to tighter security checks.

Full body scanners are set to become common place in many international airports.