The suspect was identified as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian national who boarded the aircraft flying from Nigeria to Detroit via Amsterdam.
The Airbus 330 was about 20 minutes from the airport when witnesses said a firecracker-like noise came from within the plane. Inside the aircraft, a passenger jumped over others toward where the noise originated from and attempted to subdue a man.
Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to a front row seat with his pants cut off and his legs burned.
Some of the facts reported late Friday:
• One U.S. intelligence official said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid and it failed when the passenger tried to detonate it.
• A law enforcement source said the explosives may have been strapped to the man’s body but investigators weren’t immediately certain, partly because of the struggle with other passengers.
• One law enforcement source said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil.
• An official said a declaration of "terrorist act" would have to come from the attorney general.
• An official said additional security measures were being taken without raising the airline threat level.
• The official said it’s possible Mutallab, who was burned by flames from the device as passengers tackled him, could be arraigned in a hospital setting, depending on the extent of his injuries.
• U.S. President Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, has been informed of the incident.