Underwear bomber sentenced to life in prison with no parole
A federal judge sentenced Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, to life in prison without parole on Thursday for an attempt to blow up an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas day in 2009.
Abdulmutallab admitted to working for al Qaeda and pleaded guilty in October. He further admitted that Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading al Qaeda member who was killed in a drone strike last year, played a role in planning the attack.
The explosive was hidden in his underwear and was set to detonate before the plane landed. The failed bombing attempt ended with a small fire burning Abdulmutallab and widespread panic among the cab crew and passengers.
According to CBS News, Abdulmutallab’s attorney argued that his sentence would be unconstitutional since there were no deaths or serious injuries that took place.
“Unsuccessful terrorist attacks still engender fear in the broader public, which, after all, is one of their main objectives,” prosecutors said on Wednesday.
The New York Times reports that Abdulmutallab kept repeating “Allahu askbar,” or “God is great,” during his sentencing hearing.
“The Quran obliges every able Muslim to participate in jihad and fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, and kill them wherever you find them … an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” he said.
Lemare Mason, the flight attendant aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253, said the day robbed him of the joy his job gave him while traveling around the world. Other passengers, such as Shama Chopra, have been hurt by the experience but state that it has ultimately made them stronger.
Abdulmutallab’s attack accelerated the use of full-body scanners at U.S. airports.