Nigeria to allow US-trained air marshals on flights

Nigeria will soon allow U.S.-trained air marshals on its flights to the United States to boost air security after a botched bombing attack on a U.S.-bound airliner, a federal minister said.

Nigeria Minister, Babatunde Omotoba

“The United States approached Nigeria to have their marshals assist in the training and equipping of (Nigerian) marshals,” Aviation Minister Babatunde Omotoba told reporters on Wednesday.

Omotoba said an agreement was expected to be signed with the United States “very soon”.

Nigeria has been under pressure to boost its air security following the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt on a U.S. airliner blamed on Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The United States has put Nigeria on a list of countries required to have tighter air security. Starting this month, passengers flying from Nigeria to the United States must undergo the same checks as people from Iran, Afghanistan and Cuba.

Nigeria, along with other countries including the Netherlands, Britain and Canada, will start using full-body scanners at its international airports to try to prevent such a security breach happening again.

Abdulmutallab, 23, has been charged with trying to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam on December 25 with almost 300 people on board. He transferred to that flight from a KLM flight from Lagos.



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