'Underwear Bomber' to Act as His Own Lawyer in Terrorism Trial

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By Luiza Oleszczuk, Christian Post Reporter
September 29, 2011|1:42 pm

The young Nigerian, also known as the ″underwear bomber,” who tried to blow himself up on board a transatlantic plane in December 2009, will represents himself in court when his terrorism trial begins next week.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab managed to smuggle a homemade bomb on board a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines plane, Flight 253, on Christmas day two years ago.

The highly anticipated trial is one of the most high-profile terrorism cases since the 9/11 attacks. The proceedings are expected to begin on Oct. 11.

Abdulmuttallab reportedly told the U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds that he will give the opening statement and the closing argument himself. Last year, Abdulmuttallab fired his legal team, which slowed the pre-trial process.

The alleged bomber was indicted on six criminal charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder. The charges were placed on Jan. 6, 2010.

The man's ability to behave properly in court was put into question after an incident on Sept. 14, when he yelled, "Osama's alive" during a pre-trial hearing.

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The 24-year-old also reportedly refused to stand up when the court was called to attention.

Once the trial begins, the jury will have a chance to see a replica of the bomb that Abdulmutallab allegedly constructed and failed to detonate on the plane. Jurors will also reportedly see videos prepared by experts meant to prove the destructive power of the bomb.

Previously, Abdulmutallab's legal adviser, Anthony Chambers, reportedly claimed that the bomb was not powerful enough to destroy an airplane.

Abdulmutallab himself tried to block the videos from being shown in court.

The jurors will also see a martyrdom video recorded by Abdulmutallab before the attack. The judge has also allowed the the viewing of video produced by al-Qaida which shows the terrorist group's officials discussing Abdulmutallab being able to bypass airport security. That video is meant to prove that the bomber acted in a conspiracy.

However, jurors will not see a clip where al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, praises Abdulmutallab as a hero, reports The Detroit News.

Abdulmutallab, who has also been dubbed the "Christmas Day bomber," was 23 years old at the time of the attempted attack. He concealed plastic explosives in his underwear before boarding the plane.

After he failed to detonate the bomb properly, the material caught fire instead of exploding. Abdulmutallab was restrained and extinguished by a Dutch passenger, Jasper Schringa, with the help from other passengers.

The Northwest Airlines pilot managed to safely land the plane. After landing in Detroit, Abdulmutallab was arrested and taken to a hospital because of his burns.

On Decc. 28, 2009, al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.

President Barack Obama called the U.S.'s failure to prevent the bombing attempt "totally unacceptable."

 

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