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Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, is facing charges of trying to murder 290 people on board a US-bound passenger plane that he attempted to blow up on Christmas Day.
But in Nigeria, acquaintances say they cannot believe he is at the centre of such an incident.
For many who knew him, they say Abdulmutallab became radicalised when he left the country to study in Yemen and they strongly reject any links between his actions and his childhood upbringing in Nigeria.
Al Jazeera's Nazanin Sadri reports.