'Underwear bomber' sentenced to life in prison
The U.S. Marshals Service released a photo of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after his arrest in 2009.
February 16th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

'Underwear bomber' sentenced to life in prison

[Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET] A Nigerian man who pleaded guilty to trying to bring down a Christmas Day 2009 flight with an explosive device hidden in his underwear was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, 25, pleaded guilty in October to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, among other charges. Shortly before he was sentenced Thursday in a federal courtroom in Detroit, he argued a life sentence - for which prosecutors were arguing - would be "cruel and unusual punishment," as well as unconstitutional.

The judge rejected his argument.

U.S. officials say the terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula helped plot the bombing attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, which was heading from the Netherlands to Detroit. Authorities say AbdulMutallab, a passenger, tried to ignite an explosive device that was hidden in his underwear shortly before the plane landed, but passengers and flight crew members subdued him and extinguished flames after the device briefly set him on fire.

The plane was carrying 289 people.

"As this investigation and prosecution have shown, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is a remorseless terrorist who believes it is his duty to kill Americans," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a Justice Department news release after Thursday's sentencing. "For attempting to take the lives of 289 innocent people, he has been appropriately sentenced to serve every day of the rest of his life in prison.

"Today's sentence once again underscores the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in both incapacitating terrorists and gathering valuable intelligence from them."

When pleading guilty in October, AbdulMutallab told the court that he aimed to avenge "the killing of innocent Muslims" and "U.S. tyranny and oppression of Muslims."

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Mr. Rowaijah

    Stop making fun of Allah. I'm a muslim and I respect your relegions as well as everyone's. Those people you're talking about here have had their brains washed by some sick and twisted people taking advantage of young people instead of doing by themselves because they're full of lies, they're bunch of hypocrites and they never put their lives on the line instead. Those people in fact, Islam is way too far from them. Islam is all about doing Good never about doing Evil. I hope everyone understands where I'm coming from. God bless you. God bless America and every place else.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    Life in prison with a burned up weiner. Sux to be him.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      He *definitely* won't be the husband...

      February 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @banasy: LOL

      February 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • kandi

      lmfa off at you guys, how r u

      February 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe"

    Is that why mens briefs no longer have "that pocket" in front, rather they're sewn up, so nobody can pack C4 in there?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Jeff, you actually *used* that opening? O.o

      February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @banasy: some of us have no choice..

      February 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Sorry you came up with tje "short end of the stick", dear...

      February 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      lol, oh no.. had to bust out somewhere, if ya follow.. gotta wrap it around my waist when i wear shorts..

      February 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      The water is deep.
      And cold. 😉

      February 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dazzle ©

    Was the death penalty ever on the table for this terrorist?

    February 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe Fattal

    If they want to blow themselves that's one thing, but blowing up their ass. Lets assume they blow up their ass and they aren't dead. What a dumb terrorist.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hope

    You guys are too funny!


    February 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patrick

    I get yaw'll's guy humor on this but really this is no a laughing matter. My wife was scheduled to be on this flight but didn't make it to Amsterdam in time. I am one thankful man!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Yes, Daz.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I am glad that you wife didn't make it in time.
      I am also glad that the only real injury was to himself.....as it should be.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©


      February 17, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe"

    Send him home on a Greyhound bus with a tag around his neck saying: He missed.
    Then they'll execute him for failing his mission.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
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