A Nigerian man on a suicide mission for al-Qaidawas sentenced Thursday to life in prison for attempting to blow up an international flight with a bomb in his underwear as the plane approached Detroit on Christmas 2009.
The mandatory punishment for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the well-educated son of a wealthy banker, was never in doubt after he surprised the courtroom and pleaded guilty to all charges on the second day of trial last fall.
Abdulmutallab sat with his hands folded under his chin, leaning back in his chair as the sentence was announced.
In October, Abdulmutallab said the bomb in his underwear was a “blessed weapon” to avenge poorly treated Muslims around the world. It failed to fully detonate aboard an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight but caused a brief fire that badly burned his groin. Passengers pounced on Abdulmutallab and forced him to the front of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 where he was held until the plane landed minutes later.
Abdulmutallab, 25, talked freely to the FBI about his desire to commit martyrdom for his Islamic faith. In 2009, months before the attack, he traveled to Yemen in a desperate bid to see Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric and one of the best-known al-Qaida figures, according to the government. He told investigators that his mission was approved after a three-day visit with his mentor.
Al-Awlaki and the bomb maker were killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last year, just days before Abdulmutallab’s trial. At the time, President Barack Obama publicly blamed al-Awlaki for the terrorism plot.
Abdulmutallab is an “unrepentant would-be mass murderer who views his crimes as divinely inspired and blessed, and who views himself as under a continuing obligation to carry out such crimes,” prosecutors said in a court filing last week.
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. In reply, the government said there was plenty of hurt.
“Unsuccessful terrorist attacks still engender fear in the broader public, which, after all, is one of their main objectives,” prosecutors said in a court filing before sentencing.
Indeed, Alain Ghonda, a consultant from Silver Spring, Md., who was a passenger on Flight 253, said he travels the globe with heightened awareness since the failed attack.
“After having that experience, you do not know who’s sitting next to you,” Ghonda, 40, said before Thursday’s hearing. “They may look like passengers, but they might want to harm you.”
The case also had lasting implications for security screening at American airports. Abdulmutallab’s ability to defeat security in Amsterdam contributed to the deployment of full-body scanners at U.S. airports.
The Transportation Security Administration was using the scanners in some American cities at the time, but the attack accelerated their placement. There are now hundreds of the devices nationwide.
Source: Yahoo News
Youths Burn Down Sanwo-Olu’s Mother’s House In Lagos (VIDEO)
Lagos youths have set the family house of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on fire.
This was after the Governor said that no nobody was killed during the shooting by soldiers at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Sanwo-Olu had debunked claims that the soldiers opened fire and killed some peaceful protesters.
Recall that men of the Nigerian Army reportedly opened fire on protesters following the declaration of 24 hours curfew by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu.
Bullets fired by security operatives hit some persons and at least two persons have been confirmed killed by the police and many injured
Voices in viral footage blamed the shootings on soldiers.
However, the angry youth attacked several important places such as Nigeria Port Authority, TVC News, and the family house of the Governor where his mother resides.
After Governor @jidesanwoolu said the "soldiers shot in the air to disperse the peaceful protesters." And thar their's no fatalities
Lagos youths set Governor's Mother's House on FIRE!! #PRAYFORNIGERIA#EndSARS #Lekkitollgate #LekkiGenocide #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeraNOW pic.twitter.com/QaOvSHwXdk
— Nwachukwu John Owen (@johnowen99) October 21, 2020
#LekkiMassacre: Hoodlums Storm TVC Station In Lagos; Set Properties On Fire (Video)
Hoodlums have reportedly invaded the headquarters of popular news station, TVC, believed to be owned by National Leader of APC, Bola Tinubu.
According to reports, the staff of the news station are being trapped in the building located in Lagos.
The moment Morayo and Co decided to leave the station after it had been taken over by hoodlums.
— My Opinion (@Diji_O) October 21, 2020
Videos circulating online shows that properties in the compound have also been set ablaze.
The news station is currently off air and this comes hours after Nigerians accused the Lagos politician of having a hand in the #LekkiMassacre.
Information Nigeria recalls security agents had opened fire at peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday.
In a video circulating online, the anchors of one of the shows, ‘Your View’ were heard saying that there were hoodlums at their gate trying to break into the premises.
Watch the video clips below:
— Itz CakeByTolex (@tolulope_salako) October 21, 2020
— POSTNAIJA (@POSTNAIJA) October 21, 2020
— Angry mob attacks TVC , set the station on fire.. pic.twitter.com/xEDpLeWkpW
— VyrãlTreñdz (@TheVyralTrendz) October 21, 2020
‘Hoodlums’ have reportedly invaded news station, TVC and are attacking their people. pic.twitter.com/h90bWoL37o
— Pulse Nigeria (@PulseNigeria247) October 21, 2020
Several Injured As Thugs Attack #EndSARS Protesters, Governor Oyetola In Osun
Some of the vehicles in the Governor’s convoy were also destroyed by the thugs but the Governor himself was evacuated to safety by his security team.
As the convoy was leaving the protest venue, some of the youths continued to stone his vehicles.
While the protest was disrupted, Governor Oyetola assured the injured victims that the government would be responsible for their medical bills.
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