Jasper Schuringa, the passenger who subdued bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the Detroit bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day, described his actions to ABC News' Bill Weir this morning on "Good Morning America Weekend."
Bill Weir: We're joined by Jasper Schuringa. He's the passenger that sprung into action to subdue the alleged terrorist. He's joining us from Miami. He's just joined his vacation there. Good morning. Thanks for getting up with us.
Jasper Schuringa: Good morning.
Weir: You were in the 20th row. The right side of the plane. The suspect was on the 19th row, one row ahead of you on the other side of the plane. What happened?
Schuringa: He was on the other side of the plane. We were just heading for descent. Suddenly, we heard a bang. Everybody was looking scared around. It's not good to hear a bang on the plane when you're descending. We couldn't find where it came from.
A couple of seconds later, smoke on the left side of the plane began to pile up underneath this person. One guy, or some people, started to scream "Fire, fire." I was like, "Oh my God, this is wrong." I jumped over some people, made myself over there, jumped over some people. I saw this suspect, this person, sitting there in, like, he was holding something in his hands, which was like smothering in a fire.
I grabbed it from his hands. I tried to put out the fire on the subject. And then, when I was doing that, suddenly, there was fire coming from beneath the chair. Some pillows apparently caught fire. We tried to take that -- take the fire off the pillows. It got worse. Other people were trying to stamp on the fire. People were kind of panicking.
So we were screaming for water, and we got some water and-- But it wasn't enough. We took the suspect out of the chair and we grabbed him by his neck to make sure. We didn't know if he had other explosives.
Weir: Let me ask: Did you instantly suspect he was up to no good? What did you think when you first saw the smoke?
Schuringa: I don't know what -- like the bang, and the smoke, and the guy just made sense directly.
Weir: You physically restrained him, put the fire out. Did you put him in a headlock and take him up to first class?
Schuringa: Yes, I did.
Weir: What was his demeanor?
Schuringa: I think the first bang was-- He-- It didn't look like he was awake anymore. He was just staring.
Weir: Now that you understand that he had more than enough explosives to bring the plane down, what do you think?
Schuringa: It's very scary. We're lucky to be alive. This was a planned plot, like a professional bomb maker from al Qaeda. So they failed. Very happy that the bomb failed.
Weir: I know your fellow passengers and crew are happy for your bravery.
Schuringa: Thank you.