This photo, taken by Flight 253 passenger Richard Griffith, shows the seat where the suspect was sitting during the attempted attack on Christmas day. Griffith, an electrical contractor in Iraq who was on his way home, took the photo as he was de-planing.
"I just did what I had to do", Alain Ghonda said.
Even though the seat belt sign was on in preparation for landing, Ghonda was standing to let another passenger return to her seat. That's when he said he heard a "loud explosion" and spotted smoke.
It might have been a good thing he was standing at the time.
Ghonda said he was the first to alert the flight attendants about the threat and they, along with two Dutch passengers, were able to subdue the suspect, possibly preventing them all from doom.
The suspect had allegedly smuggled chemicals in his underwear along with tools to trigger an explosion.
Ghonda is a real estate consultant and has lived in Silver Spring for 13 years with his wife and three children. He was returning home from a business trip to Ghana.