Not guilty plea in Detroit plane bomb case

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges of attempting to blow-up Northwest Airlines flight 253 before a court in the United States today. The charges stem from an attempt to bomb a passenger jet as it neared the city of Detroit.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

The charges include 289 counts of attempted murder, willful attempt to destroy and wreck an aircraft within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, willfully placing a destructive device in, upon and in proximity to an aircraft within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, and two counts of possession of a firearm/destructive in furtherance of a crime of violence. If convicted Abdulmutallab faces life in prison.

US Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, said that “The attempted murder of 289 innocent people merits the most serious charges available, and that’s what we have charged in this indictment,”. Former prosecutor David Griem told The Detroit Free Press “there’s no chance of getting this guy bond in a million years,”.

Northwest flight 253 departed Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on December 25 bound for Metro Airport in Detroit, Michigan. During the flight, Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to use plastic explosives concealed in his undergarments to bring down the aircraft. The device apparently failed resulting only in flames coming from his seat and loud popping sounds.

Passenger Jasper Schuringa, along with others, restrained Abdulmutallab for the rest of the flight after which he was taken into custody by federal agents. The incident caused rapid changes in airport security around the world, and also in US intellegence services.

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