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'Farouk1986': what Christmas bombing suspect wrote online

Online posts by 'Farouk1986,' thought to be the Christmas Day bombing suspect, suggest a student preoccupied by university admissions and English soccer clubs, but who was also apparently lonely and conflicted.

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Posts on an online Islamic community forum may offer new insights on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Northwestern flight as it prepared to land in Detroit on Christmas day.

Mr. Abdulmutallab is believed to have posted hundreds of messages on the Islamic Forum website,, under the handle “farouk1986,” on topics ranging from European soccer leagues to being lonely.

“When I first came here, I thought I was the only lonely soul,” Farouk1986 wrote on Jan. 29, 2005.

“But after, I realized that almost every good Muslim gets lonely at some point,” he continues. “This I believe is because really there are many Muslims but most are just Muslims by name who do not practice the deen earnestly, leaving the few good Muslims alone. So it’s a test we have to strive and go through for the sake of Allah.”

The Washington Post reports that many of Farouk1986's personal details appear to match up with the Detroit bombing suspect.

Other posts from the same period are more carefree and reflect the common concerns of his peers. Farouk1986 wrote passionately about English soccer teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Like many young adults, he was concerned with preparing for university studies. He said he hoped to study engineering at Stanford University in California, and that he believed he had the grades – straight As – to gain admission. He was less pleased with his SAT scores, but thought they would be good enough.


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