Barack Obama has ordered an urgent review of airport screening after a former London student was able to take explosives on board a transatlantic airliner headed to the US on Christmas Day.

An urgent investigation is under-way to find out how Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab evaded security checks to board the plane carrying 278 passengers on Friday.

Authorities had apparently been warned about the 23-year-old Nigerian’s extremist views by his own millionaire father.

A spokesperson for the Obama administration said the probe targeted the Department of Homeland Security, specifically the Transportation Security Administration.

He said the US President was “interested in learning how the explosive material was brought on board the aircraft and steps that can be taken to enhance the ability of airport screeners to detect and interdict such materials in the future”.

Abdul Mutallab was charged in hospital on Saturday night with attempting to destroy the aircraft during its final approach to Detroit airport.

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