U.S. Attorney General Eric holder said Abdulmutallab’s pleas showed that the U.S. court system was “one of the most effective tools we have to fight terrorism and keep the American people safe.”
In his opening statement Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel said Abdulmutallab had admitted to “each and every person he came into contact with” that he was trying to bring down Northwest Flight 253 as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam with 290 people aboard.
The US government says that Abdulmutallab willingly explained the bomb plot twice, first to US border officers who removed him from the plane and then a more detailed description to FBI agents who interviewed him in hospital after he received treatment for burns to his groin.
Abdulmutallab told the authorities that he had trained in Yemen, Al-Qaeda’s home base in the Arabian Peninsula, and that he was influenced by the US born Al-Qaeda cleric al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen, September 30th, during an air strike carried out by a US military Reaper Drone
Outside court, defense attorney Anthony Chambers said Abdulmutallab, who had chosen to represent himself and was being assisted by Chambers, pleaded guilty against the lawyer’s wishes. “We wanted to continue the trial but we respect his decision,” Chambers said. Abdulmutallab will be sentenced January 12. He faces up to life in federal prison.