A top Senate Democrat Friday pledged that his committee would hold a hearing on the attempted bombing on a Northwest Airlines flight Christmas Day. 

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told Fox News that his panel would hold a hearing in January. 

"Any terrorist attempt on our citizens is extremely serious," he said.


Yesterday, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee joined the Obama administration in calling the incident an attempted terrorist attack.

"He is a 23 year old Nigerian who is also - it's been confirmed to me - while he was not on a no fly list, his name was on a list for having terrorist connections," King said during an interview Christmas evening on CNN.

News broke Friday afternoon that a Nigerian man, now identified as 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, had attempted to light some sort of explosive device on the flight as it was approaching Detroit in an event described later by U.S. officials as an attempted terrorist attack.

Mutallab claimed ties to extremist groups during questioning, news outlet have reported. 

King provided the earliest confirmation that the suspect, whose name King said he had, might have been affiliated with terrorists.

"His name was in a database indicating significant terrorist connections," King said.

King said the suspect boarded a flight from Nigeria and traveled to Amsterdam, where he transferred onto a flight headed toward Detroit.

The New York lawmaker, a top lawmaker on Homeland Security, suggested that the U.S. had maintained previous concerns about Nigerian air security, prompting the U.S. to provide some security assistance to that government.

"There's a real worry about terrorist activity in Nigeria, so much so that last year the American government gave body detection technology to Nigeria for their airports," King said. "Their level of security, we felt was not comprable to others."