Christmas Day, Northwest Airlines Flight 253
Underwear Bomber Gets Life
By Eddy Metcalf
February 19, 2012 -
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called
“underwear bomber,” was sentenced on Thursday to life in
prison as a result of his guilty plea to all eight
counts of a federal indictment charging him for his role
in the attempted Christmas Day 2009 bombing of Northwest
Airlines Flight 253. The sentence was handed down by
U.S. District Court Judge Nancy G. Edmunds in Detroit.
Abdulmutallab, 25, of Kaduna, Nigeria, pleaded guilty on Oct. 12, 2011, to conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries; attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States; willfully placing a destructive device on an aircraft, which was likely to have endangered the safety of the aircraft.
Abdulmutallab also pleaded guilty to attempted use of a
weapon of mass destruction; willfully attempting to
destroy and wreck a civil aircraft; and three counts of
possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a
crime of violence.
“As this investigation and prosecution have shown, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is a remorseless terrorist who believes it is his duty to kill Americans. For attempting to take the lives of 289 innocent people, he has been appropriately sentenced to serve every day of the rest of his life in prison,” said Attorney General Holder. “Sentence once again underscores the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in both incapacitating terrorists and gathering valuable intelligence from them.”
“On behalf of the victims, we are gratified
that this al Qaeda terrorist has been defeated and will spend
the rest of his life in prison, where he can never hurt innocent
I am very
proud of the work of our prosecutors and agents in Detroit.
Their work shows that the civilian court system is a valuable
mechanism for obtaining intelligence and convicting terrorists
with the legal certainty and transparency that instills public
confidence in American justice,” said
saidU.S. Attorney McQuade.
“The case against Abdulmutallab was a combination of the hard work and dedication of FBI personnel as well as multiple federal, state, and local agencies. Those individuals who experienced Christmas Day 2009 first-hand should be rest assured that justice has been done.” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Arena.
counted most, under pressure and in the heat of the moment, the
metro Detroit law enforcement community responded as one and
acted decisively,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Moskowitz.
“Their collective actions epitomized the concept of ‘one team,
one fight’ and showed the power of collaboration in the
protection of our homeland.”
According to the
indictment filed in this case, in August 2009, Abdulmutallab traveled to
Yemen for the purpose of becoming involved in violent “jihad” on behalf
of al Qaeda. There, he conspired with other al Qaeda members to bomb a
U.S. aircraft over U.S. soil and received an explosive device for that
traveled with the bomb concealed in his underwear from Yemen to Africa
and then to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he boarded Flight 253 on
Christmas Day 2009. The bomb contained PETN and TATP, two high
explosives, and was designed to be detonated with a syringe containing
Abdulmutallab’s purpose in taking the bomb on board Flight 253 was to detonate it during flight, causing the plane to crash and killing the 290 passengers and crew members on board. As Flight 253 was on descent into Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the defendant detonated the bomb, which resulted in a fire, but otherwise did not fully explode. Passengers and flight attendants tackled the defendant and extinguished the fire.
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