Life in prison for underwear bomber

February 17th, 2012 - 11:20 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 17 (IANS/EFE) The 25-year-old Nigerian man convicted of trying to blow up a commercial jet with 300 people aboard on Christmas day in 2009 was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

The sentence was handed down by a federal court in Detroit by US District Judge Nancy Edmunds, who said that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab committed a “terrorist act”.

Before the judge pronounced the sentence, Abdulmutallab, who pleaded guilty to eight charges last October, argued that life behind bars would be “cruel and unusual” punishment, CNN reported.

One of the charges against him was that of conspiring to commit an international terrorist act, a crime for which the punishment is life in prison.

Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight that was travelling from Amsterdam to Detroit Dec 25, 2009.

The bomb Abdulmutallab was carrying inside his underwear did not detonate properly and only caused a small fire, which gave several passengers and crew members the chance to subdue him.

He said at time that he tried to carry out the attack in reprisal for “the murder of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other places by the United States”.

In the court documentation, prosecutors characterized the Nigerian as “unrepentant” and convinced that he was on a “divinely inspired” mission.


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