Brown plans international terror summit on Yemen
Published 02/01/2010 | 05:00
BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for an international meeting in London to discuss methods of countering radicalisation in Yemen, in the wake of the Christmas Day airline bomb attack.
The move came after Mr Brown announced an immediate review of security at British airports, which may lead to the introduction of hi-tech full-body scanners that could detect explosives of the kind smuggled on to a US-bound plane from Amsterdam.
Suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (23) is believed to have developed radical Islamist views during visits to Yemen, and the country's foreign minister this week appealed for international help to take on as many as 300 al-Qa'ida operatives believed to be using it as a base.
Mr Brown said the January 28 meeting would be a stand-alone event involving key international partners held alongside the conference on the future of Afghanistan in London on the same day.
Downing Street said his plans had already received strong support from the White House and the EU, and Britain also aimed to secure backing from Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries in the coming days.
Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to ignite explosives stored in his underwear as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, carrying 280 passengers, made its final descent towards Detroit.
He reportedly told FBI investigators that al-Qa'ida militants in Yemen gave him the bomb and that there were others like him there ready to carry out further attacks.
Yemeni officials said Abdulmutallab arrived in the Middle Eastern country at the beginning of August to study at the Sana'a Institute for the Arabic Language, after previously graduating in engineering at University College London.
Mr Brown claimed yesterday that it was "increasingly clear" the would-be bomber did not become an extremist while a student in London, but said Britain had to remain vigilant for the radicalisation of young Muslims.