'Underwear Bomber' Shocks Court With Last Minute Guilty Plea
1 year ago
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab enters guilty plea against lawyers' wishes
Farouk Abdulmutallab, better known as the "Underwear Bomber," who attempted to blow up a plane flying over Detroit in 2009, has entered a guilty plea to all eight his charges including conspiracy to commit terrorism, attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The al Qaeda connected bomber will face life in prison when sentenced on January 12.
The plea is the latest bizzare happening in a case that prosecutors spent two years building. In previous court hearings Abdulmutallab has shown his eccentric behavior. He's been mild-mannered on some days, while others he gave occasional outbursts. He's worn tunics and sports coats, donned elaborate robes and even asked permission to wear a traditional Yemeni belt with a dagger. He was denied. At the start of the case he was given court-appointed lawyers which he would quickly dismiss in favor of representing himself. He would later allow the court to appoint an attorney to help him with his defense. To Abdulmatallab's lawyer's knowledge they were preparing to enter a not guilty plea until today's surprise.
"I would never advise a client who was facing life to plead guilty in this manner," said Anthony Chambers, the assisting attorney. "We wanted to continue on. It's disappointing."
As a part of his plea, Abdulmutallab was allowed to testify on his behalf. He used the five minutes to drive the point home that he had not violated any Islamic laws, but understood that he did break U.S. laws.
"In late 2009, in fulfillment of a religious duty, I decided to participate in a jihad against the United States," he said. Also adding that his attempt was "the most virtuous of deeds ... but my actions make me guilty of crimes in the United States."