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Friday, February 17, 2012

underwear bomber

underwear bomber

The would-be suicide bomber who, in 2009, failed to blow-up a Detroit-bound international flight but succeeded in burning his genitals was sentenced to life in prison without parole today.

Unlike anyone who has ever emailed you, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, actually is the son of a wealthy Nigerian banker. He pleaded guilty last October to all charges related to the attempted destruction of Northwest Airlines Flight 253, stating that the bomb in his underwear was a "blessed," (though, ultimately, defective) weapon to avenge Muslims who had been killed or poorly treated around the world.

While news outlets are reporting that Abdulmutallab showed little emotion throughout the sentencing, he did refer to his hearing as "a day of victory" and lamented that the U.S. attorneys appointed to his case intentionally misquoted him and mishandled his case "to achieve their Hebrew goals."

Also adding colorful opinions to the trial was Kurt Haskell, a lawyer, and one of four passengers and a crew member who testified. Haskell alleges that the U.S. government conspired to have Abdulmutallab carry the defective bomb onto the plane so that it would have justification to install full-body scanners at airports. He told judge Nancy Edmunds:

"Regardless of how media and government try to shape this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. agent. It really saddens me that the government won't admit its role in the event. Because of this case, I will never trust anything the government says, ever."

Abdulmutallab's family released a statement today saying they hope the U.S. Justice Department will review the life sentence.Abdulmutallab had previously pleaded guilty to eight counts of terrorism and attempted murder. He received the maximum sentence.

"The defendant has stated and it is clear that he has enormous motivation to carry out another terrorist attack," Judge Nancy Edmunds said before sentencing. "This was an act of terrorism that cannot be quibbled with."

No one but Abdulmutallab was injured when he tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane carrying 289 people on Christmas Day in 2009. Abdulmutallab, who was flying into the United States from Amsterdam, had sown a chemical bomb into his underwear as part of a plot organized by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The "Underwear Bomber," Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was sentenced to life in prison without parole by a federal court in Detroit on Thursday afternoon
The federal government opened its case against underwear bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Tuesday, telling jurors that the defendant was on a mission from al-Qaeda to blow up an American airliner on Christmas Day 2009 — and to make sure that the attack happened on U.S. soil.His mission, his goal, his sole reason for being on Flight 253 was to blow it up … to kill all the other passengers and himself," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel told jurors of the Nigerian defendant. "He thought he would end up in heaven because he would be a martyr."
Abdulmutallab, 24, who was technically defending himself, appeared in a traditional African gray tunic with gold and cream embroidery. He said nothing Tuesday and even opted out of giving an opening statement. His standby lawyer, Anthony Chambers, was supposed to deliver opening statements, but after a one-hour delay, Chambers said that there would be no opening statement but that there could be one at a later date.Tukel's opening statement detailed what happened inside the aircraft the day that Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to blow up the Detroit-bound airliner with explosives hidden in his underwear.
As the flight neared Detroit, he made several trips to the lavatory, where he brushed his teeth, put on cologne and prayed to purify himself before his suicide mission, Tukel said.
Then he returned to his seat, pulled a blanket over his head and pressed the plunger on the bomb. First came a loud pop, then smoke, then a fireball in the suspect's lap, Tukel said.
"After that, all hell broke loose," Tukel said, noting that passengers tried to put the fire out, but nothing worked until flight attendants doused it with fire extinguishers.
Passenger Michael Zantow, the first government witness to testify, said he heard a loud pop that sounded like firecrackers, then heard the passenger next to Abdulmutallab say, "Dude, your pants are on fire."
A flight attendant came to see what was happening, Zantow said. Passengers yelled to get Abdulmutallab's seatbelt and pants off to see what was going on. Four passengers lifted him out of his seat and put him on the floor of the plane.
Zantow said that was when he glimpsed "underwear I hadn't seen before." He described the underwear as "bulky" and said it reminded him of what his child's pull-up diapers looked like when they were full — a comment that drew laughter from jurors.

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