Lawyer for Detroit underwear bomber makes appeal

Published On: Dec 05 2013 10:00:03 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 05 2013 12:40:35 PM EST

Local 4's Hank Winchester takes a look back at the earlier years of Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, who is accused of carrying explosives aboard a Detroit-bound plane.


A federal appeals court has heard arguments in the case of a Nigerian man who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound jet on Christmas 2009.

An attorney for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab says his guilty plea should be thrown out and a mental competency hearing ordered. Travis Rossman also argues that a life sentence for a young man is extreme, especially when no one except Abdulmutallab was seriously injured aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

The 25-year-old called the bomb be carried in his underwear a “blessed weapon” to avenge poorly treated Muslims worldwide.

The bomb didn't fully detonate, but caused a brief fire that burned Abdulmutallab.

He admitted afterward that the attack was inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born cleric and leading al-Qaida figure killed by a U.S. drone strike last fall.

An appeals court in Cincinnati heard arguments Thursday on those issues and more. There was no immediate decision.

Read: Underwear bomber appeals life sentences in airline attack


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