- (Photo: Reuters/US Marshals Service/Handout)
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man who attempted to blow up a U.S. commercial airplane on Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb concealed in his underwear, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Back in October of this year, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to attempted murder and terrorism. He was sentenced yesterday.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Judge Nancy Edmunds, who presided over the trail, said, "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." She added, "I believe the defendant poses a significant threat to the safety of American citizens everywhere."
NBC reported that Abdulmutallab gave a court statement praising Allah, claiming Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki were still alive, and calling his sentence of life in prison a victory.
Just 25-years-old, Abdulmutallab was acting under Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born al-Qaida leader in Yemen who was killed last fall.
Assistant prosecuting U.S. Attorney Cathleen Corken entered into evidence an FBI video which shows how powerful Abdulmutallab's bomb would have been had it deployed properly.
The Justice Department has released the video to the public. In a huge explosion a sheet of aluminum siding completely destroyed in a ball of fire and smoke. The video makes it quite clear that Abdulmutallab's bomb was capable of a great deal of destruction.
The flight Abdulmutallab tried to blow up was travelling from Amsterdam to Detroit and carrying 290 passengers. Luckily his bomb did not deploy properly, and brave passengers were able to detain him until the plane landed.
His family has issued a statement asking the Justice Department to reconsider the sentence, as Abdulmutallab did not actually kill or injure anyone.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the family's statement said, "We are grateful to God that the unfortunate incident that day did not result in any injury or death. We pray for a more peaceful world and hope that all well-meaning persons, institutions and nations will work to establish to world peace...We strongly appeal to the American Justice Department to review the life sentence."