Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blast up a US airliner on Christmas day in 2009 with a device concealed in his underwear, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.The ex-student of University College London has
The ex-student of University College London has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for his attempt to blow up himself as well as the almost three hundred passengers that were on the plane.
Abdulmutallab wore a white t-shirt and skull cap and sat impassively as the sentence was read out to him and the audience.
“This was an act of terrorism that cannot be quibbled with,” said US District Judge Nancy Edmunds, who imposed the maximum sentence allowed.
Prior to the sentence, the 25-year-old used a four-minute address to the court to repeat that his attack was attended to avenge “the attacks of the United States on Muslims.”
The plane left Amsterdam with 290 people on board. As it approached Detroit, Abdulmutallab tried but failed to ignite a device in his underwear before he was overpowered by a Dutch passenger. Abdulmutallab suffered severe burns from the incident.
He admitted to eight charges including conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
When pleading guilty in October, he called the bomb a “blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims.”
According to what Abdulmutallab told the court, “I intended to wreck a US aircraft for the US wreckage of Muslim lands and property.”
“If you laugh at us now we will laugh at you later, on the day of judgment,” he added and shouted “Allahu akbar” [God is great] as he left the court.
Abdulmutallab has been held in prison in Michigan pending the trial, and during interviews with US investigators, said he had received bomb training from al-Qaeda militants in Yemen
Video footage later emerged showing Abdulmutallab at a jihadi training camp, in which militants shoot guns at British and Israeli flags, as well as planes.
In the footage, he also delivered what appeared to be a martyrdom message, saying: “You brotherhood of Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula have the right to wage jihad because the enemy is in your land, with their armies, the Jews and the Christians and their agents. Allah said if you do not fight back, he will punish you and replace you.”
Abdulmutallab was under the tutelage of the so-called Osama bin Laden of the internet, US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen last September.
Awlaki is believed to have recruited Abdulmutallab while in London.
In what is thought to have been one of his final internet video messages, Awlaki said: “Our brother Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has succeeded in breaking through the security systems that have cost the US government alone over $40bn since 9/11.
“It was only a technical issue with the device that saved the flight from total destruction. however, the attempts of the Mujahadeen will not cease.”
Awlaki was also linked to other British-based men linked to al-Qaeda, including 7/7 bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, jailed radical cleric Abu Hamza and Roshonara Choudhry, who attempted to kill MP Steven Timms because he had supported the invasion of Iraq.