DETROIT (AP) — A Nigerian man who was given a mandatory life sentence for trying to blow up a packed jetliner using a bomb sewn into his underwear on Christmas Day 2009 has appealed the punishment.
A notice of appeal by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was dated Thursday and posted Friday in the electronic record for Detroit’s federal court, where he was sentenced.
An email seeking comment was sent Friday to a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit.
Abdulmutallab, 25, pleaded guilty four months ago to all charges related to the attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253. Had the bomb not fizzled, the nearly 300 people aboard the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight would probably have been killed.
The case stirred renewed fears that terrorists could still bring down an American jetliner more than eight years after 9/11, and it accelerated installation of body scanners at the nation’s airports.
Before Thursday’s sentencing, four passengers and a crew member from the flight told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds that they have struggled to live and travel normally since the incident on Christmas Day 2009.
During their remarks, Abdulmutallab appeared disinterested, rarely looking up from his seat a few feet away.
Abdulmutallab “has never expressed doubt or regret or remorse about his mission,” Edmunds said. “In contrast, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission.”
Life is a “just punishment for what he has done,” the judge said. “The defendant poses a significant ongoing threat to the safety of American citizens everywhere.”
Anthony Chambers, an attorney assigned to help Abdulmutallab, said a mandatory life sentence was cruel and unconstitutional punishment for a crime that didn’t physically hurt anyone except Abdulmutallab. The government insisted plenty of harm had been done.
Abdulmutallab seemed to relish the mandatory sentence and defended his actions as rooted in the Muslim holy book, the Quran.
“Mujahedeen are proud to kill in the name of God,” he said. “Today is a day of victory.”
What’s more interesting in this case is the Victim Impact Statement of one attorney from Michigan:
Below is a copy of the victim impact statement I gave today at the Underwear Bomber sentencing hearing. When reading my statement, keep in mind that I am a practicing attorney in the State of Michigan. In addition, I regularly practice in the Court the hearings are taking place at and therefore, I am somewhat limited as to what I can say. We were limited to 5 minutes each.
When Umar listed me as his only witness, I was happy to testify, not on his behalf, but on behalf of the truth. I never expected to testify, as my eyewitness account would have been too damaging to the myth that the government and media are putting forward. A mere 5 days after I was announced as a witness, there was an inexplicable guilty plea which exasperated me as I no longer would be testifying.
In closing I will just say that regardless of how the media and government try to shape the public perception of this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. Government agent and placed on our flight without showing a passport or going through security, to stage a false terrorist attack to be used to implement various government policies.
The effect this matter has had on my life has been astounding and due to this case, I will never trust the government in any matter, ever.
In regards to sentencing, nothing I’ve said excuses the fact that Umar tried to kill me. He has waived his valid claim to the entrapment defense. Umar, you are not a great Muslim martyr, you are merely a “Patsy”. I ask the court to impose the mandatory sentence.
Also note this odd coincidence we told you about. One of the Muslim women, also a lawyer, whom Obama had removed from a televised speech just happened to be on that flight to Detroit although she lives in Kuwait. She quietly became a proponent for full body scanners even though TSA has exempted Muslims.
Draw your own conclusions and vote below.
Update: Questions surround government’s actions in “underwear” bomber case
According to multiple witnesses, the would-be bomber was actually assisted in boarding the now infamous flight. Kurt Haskell, perhaps the most well known witness who was also aboard flight 253 with his wife, remained steadfast in his account that a yet unidentified well-dressed man, possibly of Indian descent, assisted the bomber at the airport when he appeared to be having problems with security.
Since the events of Christmas Day 2009, Mr. Haskell has provided first-hand accounts to Alex Jones of Infowars and Prison Planet TV. The information provided by Mr. Haskell is consistent with information we received from an inside source working for a federal intelligence agency familiar with this incident. According to our source, airport security officials were told to “stand down” by a contact within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and permit Abdulmutallab to board the aircraft.
Perhaps this would explain why Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to testify in front of House Committee members in January 2010 despite being asked to do so by the committee.
In an extreme departure from normal protocol, flight 253 taxied to the airport gate despite the presence of a bomb onboard. Additionally, the passengers of the flight were forced to remain on the plane despite Abdulmutallab’s statements that there was a second bomb on the aircraft, and without knowing whether the bomber had accomplices.
When the passengers were finally escorted from the plane, the manner of their exit actually caused some to step on parts of the bomb. Additional accounts from Mr. Haskell and other passengers provide interesting and critical insight into either incredible incompetence or some level of foreknowledge about the entire scenario.
The oddities surrounding this incident and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab extended into federal court. The would-be bomber pleaded not guilty to the charges, yet inexplicably reversed his decision a mere two days before potentially mitigating or perhaps even exculpatory evidence could be heard in court. It was a move that should have baffled his defense team and anyone paying attention to this case.
It is less baffling when combined with all other unanswered questions pertaining to this case are viewed in totality. His move otherwise buried possible evidence of government complicity, or at least incompetence, from public purview.