News / USA

Nigerian 'Underwear Bomber' Sentenced to Life

In a courtroom sketch, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmonds in federal court in Detroit, Feb. 16, 2012.
In a courtroom sketch, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmonds in federal court in Detroit, Feb. 16, 2012.

The Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a U.S. passenger plane on Christmas Day 2009 has been sentenced to life in prison.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was sentenced Thursday in the U.S. city of Detroit.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called Abdulmutallab a "remorseless terrorist" who deserved to spend "every day of the rest of his life" in prison.  U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said the outcome shows the civilian justice system can be used effectively to obtain intelligence and convict terrorists.

The 25-year-old Nigerian pleaded guilty in October, as his trial was getting under way.  Abdulmutallab had told the court his actions were in retaliation for the killing of what he called innocent Muslims in Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  

Prosecutors say Abdulmutallab wanted to achieve martyrdom by killing all 290 people on board the Northwest Airlines flight as part of an al-Qaida mission.

One of those passengers said she feels the sentence is appropriate.

"His parents - they called me from Nigeria, and they apologized," she said. "It broke my heart.  And they said, 'my son was misled,' and I believe so, but later on we find out that he had been fully trained by Anwar al-Awlaki, and he was getting training and everything, but he tried to kill us and somehow he missed it.  So, in this kind of case, I think justice will be served today, and he will die of imprisonment, and that's what the punishment [will be] for him."

Passengers and crew members subdued Abdulmutallab after he tried to detonate the explosives in his underwear as the plane prepared to land in Detroit.  The explosives caught fire, leaving him with severe burns.

The charges against him included conspiracy to commit terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for trying to bring down the flight from Amsterdam on December 25, 2009.

Abdulmutallab had made several outbursts during jury selection, proclaiming allegiance to al-Qaida and claiming that Yemen-based radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is still alive.  The American-born Awlaki was killed last year in Yemen by a U.S. airstrike.

U.S. officials have blamed Abdulmutallab's plot on the Yemen-based branch of al-Qaida.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid