DETROIT — Accused underwear bomber Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty Wednesday to eight criminal charges,
including conspiring to commit terrorism.
The guilty plea came on the second day of his criminal trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
No sooner had court started than Judge Nancy Edmunds called a 45-minute recess to take up an important matter.
When Abdulmutallab returned, his standby defense lawyer, Anthony Chambers, said his client had decided to plead guilty.
read from a statement saying he was guilty under U.S. law, but not
under Islamic law, for the crimes charged. He said he tried to carry out
the bombing in retaliation for the murder of innocent civilians in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and elsewhere by the United States.
He warned the U.S. that, if it continued to murder innocent Muslims, a calamity would befall the U.S.
“If you laugh at us now, we will laugh at you later,” he said.
He said committing jihad against the United States is one of “the most virtuous acts” a Muslim can perform.
Edmunds set sentencing for Jan. 12.
faces a mandatory 30 years in prison, but could get life for some of
the charges, which include conspiring to commit terrorism and using a
weapon of mass destruction.
He pleaded guilty to
trying to bring down a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day 2009 with
a bomb concealed in his underwear. The bomb misfired, passengers and
crew wrestled him to the ground and he was taken into custody when the
plane landed in Detroit.
Along the way, he told
several people, including FBI agents, what he had done, according to an
opening statement Tuesday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel.
called in the jury after Abdulmutallab was led out of the courtroom and
advised them what had happened. She said jurors could talk to reporters
if she wanted.
She assured jurors again that their names would not be released to the public.
Outside the courthouse, Chambers, said he hadn’t advised his client to plead guilty.
disappointing,” he said, adding that he never wants a client to plead
guilty to charges that could result in a life sentence. He said
Abdulmutallab made the decision on his own.
said he thinks he had a viable defense to some of the charges, adding
that he questioned whether the aircraft was damaged by the bombing
He said the guilty plea enables his
client to get on with the rest of his life and to read a statement in
court to explain his actions.
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