Friday, February 17, 2012


25-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka the underwear bomber, who was accused of trying to bomb a US-bound flight on Christmas Day in 2009, has been sentenced to multiple life sentences in prison without parole. “The defendant has never expressed doubt or regret or remorse about his mission,” “To the contrary, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission,” U.S District Judge Nancy Edmunds said as she imposed four life prison sentences on Abdulmutallab.

Abdulmutallab, had already pleaded guilty on the second day of trial testimony last October to eight counts, including conspiring to commit an act of terrorism, use of a weapon of mass destruction and carrying a firearm or destructive device during a crime of violence. It was a failed suicide mission for al-Qaeda when he attempted to detonate a bomb in his underpants as the plane, en route from Amsterdam, approached Detroit. Nearly 300 persons were on board that flight. “This was an act of terrorism that cannot be quibbled with," Judge Edmunds said, as she imposed the maximum sentence after several passengers on Northwest Flight 253 talked about how the failed bombing attempt had forever changed their lives, causing them to fear flying, seek mental health counseling and have continuing nightmares.

Abdulmutallab, the well-educated son of a wealthy banker, sat with his hands folded under his chin, leaning back in his chair as the sentence was announced. During his trial he told the court that the bomb in his underwear was a 'blessed weapon' to save the lives of innocent Muslims’. “The US should be warned that if they continue to kill and support those who kill innocent Muslims, then the US should await a great calamity... or God will strike them directly," he added.

“We are grateful to God that the unfortunate incident that day did not result in any injury or death," the family said. “We pray for a more peaceful world and hope that all well-meaning persons, institutions and nations will work to establish to world peace,” read a statement from Abdulmutallab's familyreleased by Anthony Chambers, Abdulmutallab's standby defense lawyer. The family also asked the Department of Justice to intervene on their son’s behalf. 

Chambers, Abdulmutallab's standby defense lawyer, said that had Abdulmutallab allowed him to serve as a full-fledged lawyer rather than standby counsel, he could have gotten him more favorable treatment at sentencing. He added that Abdulmutallab “is a very misguided young man. … I think he's a very impressionable young man who got messed up with the wrong people." By no option of parole, Abdultallab’s sentencing is made mandatory. Parole, in the US criminal justice system, is the supervised release of a prisoner before the completion of their sentence in prison.

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