Attempted terror attack on board NWA plane in Detroit.

By LARA JAKES and LARRY MARGASAK
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials say a Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria said he was acting on behalf of al-Qaida when he tried to blow up a flight Friday as it landed in Detroit.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., identified the suspect as Abdul Mudallad, a Nigerian. King said the flight began in Nigeria and went through Amsterdam en route to Detroit.

One of the U.S. intelligence officials said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. It failed when the passenger tried to detonate it.

The passenger was being questioned Friday evening.

Both of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

The motive of the Christmas Day attack was not immediately clear.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.