Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka the underwear bomber, entered the courtroom on the first day of his trial dressed in a grand boubou (I know that in english speaking Nigeria it’s simply called a gown, but I like the french better), looking at no one in particular.
It was expected that Abdulmutallab, who is acting as his own attorney, might deliver an opening statement to the jury, but the defense instead chose to reserve that option for later in the trial.
In the government’s opening Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel pointed to the defendant saying, “..this defendant. He had a mission… for al-Qaida. His sole reason for being on Flight 253 was to blow it up… ”
After ninety minutes of guiding the jury through the events of Flight 253 on Christmas day, 2009 the government calls its first witness, passenger Michael Zantow. Zantow testifies that about thirty seconds after hearing a loud pop that sounded like a firecracker a passenger yelled, “Man…dude, your pants are on fire!”
The next day, in a suprise move Abdulmutallab pled guilty to all charges. Unfortunately it caught us off guard and we missed it, but you can read about it here.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the young Nigerian who attempted to bring down an airplane over Detroit on Christmas day with a device smuggled on board in his underwear, was arraigned under heavy security at U.S. courthouse in Detroit yesterday.
The hearing took all of three minutes, but while waiting for it to begin I was able to do a nice rendering of the stuffed bald eagle that was on display on the left side of the Judge’s bench. Not something usually seen in a courtroom.
Detroit Free Press story here.