Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 24-year-old Nigerian student who boarded an Amsterdam-to-Detroit plane Christmas 2009 morning with a bomb tucked into his underwear, showed up for jury selection with something to say. “Osama’s alive,” he shouted as he entered the Detroit court house where he hopes to defend himself against criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit terrorism, next month.
Potential jurors watched Abdulmutallab yell “Jihad!” and complain loudly about his court-issue khaki pants through a two-way closed circuit television while being briefed by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. “We are not trying to find people for this jury who have never heard of this case,” she said of filling the box for one of the most high-profile terror cases in the U.S. since 9/11. “We are looking for people who … are fair, objective and impartial.”
Last month, Abdulmutallab submitted a handwritten plea asking that he “should only be ruled by the law of the Quran.” Having denied that request, Edmunds is scheduled to field a request for his release today, Abdulmutallab set to argue that he’s been unlawfully detailed by the U.S. and that he he’s been subject to excessive force while in federal prison.
Jury is set to be selected on October 4th, and trial slated to begin October 11th; Abdulmutallab will present his own opening and closing statements, although a lawyer will be on standby.
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