DETROIT – Nigerian man who was given a life sentence for trying to blow up a packed jetliner using a bomb sewn into his underwear on Christmas Day 2009 has appealed the punishment.
A notice of appeal by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was dated Thursday and posted Friday in the electronic court record for the federal court in Detroit where he was given the sentence.
An email seeking comment was sent Friday to a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit.
Abdulmutallab, 25, pleaded guilty to all charges related to the attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. The bomb fizzled and burned his groin.
The case stirred renewed fears that terrorists could still bring down an American jetliner more than eight years after 9/11, and it accelerated installation of body scanners at the nation’s airports.
Life in prison is a “just punishment for what he has done,” the judge said of Abdulmutallab. “The defendant poses a significant ongoing threat to the safety of American citizens everywhere.”
Anthony Chambers, an attorney assigned to help Abdulmutallab, said a mandatory life sentence was cruel and unconstitutional punishment for a crime that didn’t physically hurt anyone except Abdulmutallab.
The government insisted plenty of harm had been done.
Abdulmutallab seemed to relish the sentence and defended his actions as rooted in the Muslim holy book, the Quran.
“Mujahedeen are proud to kill in the name of God,” he said. “Today is a day of victory.”