U.S.: Abdulmutallab trial begins

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Nigerian born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, facing charges in the United states for an attempted Christmas day massacre, refused to make any plea in his first court appearance, yesterday, January 8. The Detroit Judge thus entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of the terror suspect.

The 23 year old who was educated and radicalized in England, and subsequently trained and armed in Yemen, attempted to detonate a bomb on a plane in Detroit, on Christmas Day.

The aloof and calm-looking suspect spoke in a soft voice, prompting the Judge to yell: “Speak up!”

Abdulmutallab wore leg shackles, as he walked into the court room. His slow pace must have been the result of the injuries he sustained or the leg irons he was wearing. He confirmed his name, its spelling and his age to the Judge. He also admitted to have been on pain killers in the last 24 hours when quizzed on recent drug use.

The young Muslim was read his charges: “Attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the US. Willful attempt to destroy and wreck an aircraft. Willfully placing a destructive device in or near an aircraft which was likely to endanger the safety of the aircraft. And two counts of possession of a firearm [the bomb], in furtherance of violent crime. He confirmed he understood the charges.

According to reports, Abdulmutallab looked up slowly, his eyes gazing with a somewhat vacant look at the court. His shoulders hunched behind him. Sitting on a chair, he listened and nodded to his lawyers.

The lad faces life imprisonment if found guilty.

Abdulmutallab’s attempted attack has led to numerous security measures being introduced in airports across the world. The incident also prompted widespread criticism of US intelligence services for failing to prevent the plot. And he earned Nigeria an unprecedented place on the U.S list of terror nations.

Abdulmutallab failed to successfully detonate the bomb, and the plane landed safely after passengers and crew overpowered him. He was treated for burns after his arrest.

According to U.S Home Land Security, Abdulmutallab’s name was on a U.S. database but not on their a ‘No-fly-list’.

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