A young Nigerian man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to attempting to kill nearly 300 people aboard a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day, 2009, by igniting explosives secreted in his underwear. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (25) is representing himself at the trial in Detroit, Michigan.
Judge Nancy Edmunds read through each of the eight terrorism-related charges, each of which Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to. When asked by the Judge whether he was pleading guilty because he “was guilty,” the accused said: “That's right.”
The surprise guilty pleas come a day after Abdulmutallab declined to present opening statements to jurors.
“Has anyone promised you that I would go easy on you if you pleaded guilty?” asked Judge Edmunds. “No,” the Nigerian replied.
The plot, which U.S. officials say was the work of the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, failed because the explosives stitched in his underwear never detonated fully and instead caused a massive fireball. — AFP