Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has invited the father of alleged Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to testify at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

In a Jan. 7 letter to the Nigerian ambassador to the United States obtained by Dow Jones, the senator wrote that Dr. Umaru Mutallab acted "in a heroic fashion by alerting U.S. authorities to his concerns about his son's whereabouts and activities, and by seeking to disrupt what he believed could have been a dangerous situation."

"We would like to afford (Mutallab) the opportunity to discuss his experience with his son and to provide his recommendations on the process by which he worked with U.S. authorities," Kerry wrote.

Abdulmutallab is accused of attemping to blow up Northwest Flight 253 bound for Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.

Mutallab is a prominent former Nigerian banker and government minister who is credited with saving many people's fortunes during a financial crisis in his country that left his bank as one of the last standing. He went to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, in November to alert authorities about his son's extremist views.

Committee spokesman Frederick Jones said the panel is interested in hearing from Mutallab as Congress deals with new terror challenges.

"Congress is wrestling with the specific questions of the Christmas Day bombing plot and the broader questions of how Yemen has become a touchstone for radicalization. Mr. Mutallab, who identified his own son as an extremist and threat to the United States, has an important story to tell and the Committee would like to hear from him, Jones said.

Jones told FoxNews.com that Kerry had not received any indication yet whether Mutallab will accept the invitation or not. The panel would like to schedule the hearing for Jan. 20 but that has not been finalized.