News / USA

    Not Guilty Plea Entered for US Plane Bomb Suspect

    A vehicle enters the garage at Federal Courthouse in Detroit before a hearing for Nigerian bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 08 Jan 2010
    A vehicle enters the garage at Federal Courthouse in Detroit before a hearing for Nigerian bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 08 Jan 2010

    Multimedia

    Terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has pleaded not guilty in a Detroit Federal courtroom to charges he attempted to ignite an explosive device on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan on Christmas Day. If convicted, Abdulmutallab could face life in prison.

    23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with al-Qaida links appeared in court on charges he tried to blow up an U.S. bound airliner.  The short appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Mark Randon was Abdulmutallab's first since being arrested on Christmas Day.

    He is indicted on six counts that include attempted murder for trying to ignite an explosive device on Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit.  The device was concealed in his underwear, and failed to detonate.  Other passengers and crew restrained Abdulmutallab until the flight landed.

    Former Federal Prosecutor Aiten Goelman believes that despite the not guilty plea, this is a case that will likely lead to a conviction against Abdulmutallab. "It is a slam dunk. I think if you have many people in a confined place like an airplane who saw what Mr. Abdulmutallab was apparently trying to do, you have the fact that he was actually apprehended on the plane, that they found explosives - two different kinds of explosives  in his underwear.  I think that if he was predisposed to fight the charges kind of on the grounds that 'you've gotthe wrong guy,' that would be a very tough sell before a jury," he said.

    During the hearing, Abdulmutallab's public defense attorney, Miriam Siefer, agreed to his continued detention at a federal facility in nearby Ann Arbor. 

    Security was tight in Detroit, as protestors gathered outside the courthouse during the hearing.

    Members of the local Nigerian and Muslim communities in Michigan turned out to show their opposition to acts of terrorism.

    It is not the first time Detroit has been at the center of a terrorism case.  In 2003, four North Africans suspected of belonging to a terrorist sleeper cell were on trial at the same Detroit courthouse.  It was the first trial stemming from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Two of the suspects were convicted, but the case was later thrown out of court.

    If convicted in the current case, the charges against Abdulmutallab do not carry the death penalty, but he could spend the rest of his life in prison.


    Kane Farabaugh

    Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora