The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

85° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Underwear bomber gets multiple life sentences

DETROIT — A federal judge imposed multiple life sentences Thursday on failed underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day 2009.

“The defendant has never expressed doubt or regret or remorse about his mission,” U.S District Judge Nancy Edmunds told the 25-year-old Nigerian student-turned-al-Qaida-operative during a 90-minute hearing in Detroit. “To the contrary, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission.”

“I believe the defendant poses a significant ongoing threat to the safety of American citizens everywhere,” Edmunds said, adding that she couldn’t control his motivations but could control his opportunity to act on them.

Edmunds imposed the sentence after several passengers on Northwest Flight 253 talked about how the failed bombing attempt had changed their lives forever, causing them to fear flying, seek mental health counseling and have continuing nightmares.

LeMare Mason, a Northwest flight attendant who put out the flames when Abdulmutallab’s bomb fizzled in his underwear, told Edmunds that his life has changed.

“I had a dream job traveling the world,” he said. “This man has stolen and robbed me of the pleasure of going to work.”

He said he wakes up in night sweats because of the incident and has been in therapy since then.

The defendant laid into the U.S. government for oppressing Muslims and into federal prosecutors in Detroit for misquoting and misrepresenting the facts of the case “to achieve their evil goals.”

Edmunds imposed four life prison sentences on Abdulmutallab.

He pleaded guilty on the second day of trial testimony last October to eight counts, including conspiring to commit an act of terrorism, use of a weapon of mass destruction and carrying a firearm or destructive device during a crime of violence.

Abdulmutallab’s lawyer, Chambers, said Abdulmutallab, who has 10 days to appeal the sentence, likely will serve the sentence at the federal super-max prison in Florence, Colo., where other convicted terrorists are doing time.

More to Discover
Activate Search