US plane suspect 'a London student' 42 mins ago An al Qaida-linked suspect who allegedly tried to blow up a transatlantic plane is studying at a UK university, it has been reported. Skip related content The Nigerian is accused of trying to detonate a powdery substance on a plane from Amsterdam as it prepared to land at Detroit with 278 people on board. US sources said he was subdued by passengers and has since claimed to have been acting for al Qaida. He has been named by ABC News as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, an engineering student at University College London, with the broadcaster citing US government documents. The suspect, who has also been identified as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab in other reports, is currently under guard at a Michigan hospital. He was flying from Nigeria to the United States for a religious ceremony according to his entry visa, ABC News said, which was issued on June 16 last year and valid until June 12, 2010. Witnesses on Flight 253 said they heard a sound like a firecracker going off and one passenger jumped over others and tried to subdue one of the passengers. Shortly afterwards, the suspect was apparently taken to a front row seat with his trousers cut off and his legs burned. A White House official said: "We believe this was an attempted act of terrorism." Terrorism expert Dr Sally Leivesley told BBC News: "This looks as though it is a first attempt of a new way to use the body to conceal explosives. "In the past it was a can of liquid explosive. Now they may be concealing the explosives on the human body, but on the inside upper leg, and we only know this by seeing a very badly burnt leg on the suspected perpetrator."