Underwear bomber misunderstands Islam, says he was "proud to kill in the name of Allah"
More on this story. "Underwear Bomber Abdulmutallab: 'Proud to Kill in the Name of God,'" by Jason Ryan for ABC News, February 16 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to bring down Northwest flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 with an underwear bomb, said he was was "proud to kill in the name of God" before he was sentenced to multiple life sentences today in a Detroit courtroom. "Today is a day of victory and God is great," said Abdulmutallab, 25. He also said that al Qaeda would one day be victorious, and that acts like his will continue until "the righteous servants of Allah inherit the world."
"The defendant has never expressed doubt or remorse about his mission," said Judge Nancy Edmunds in imposing four life sentences plus 50 years. "To the contrary, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission."...
Earlier, five passengers who had been on flight 253 each got a chance to speak. Shama Chopra of Montreal told Abdulmutallab, "You had no right to take my life," but then handed Abdulmutallab's lawyer a rosary to give to the 25-year-old Nigerian, who is a devout Muslim....
He called the failed explosives he had hidden in his underwear a "blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims" and said he had attempted to bomb Northwest flight 253 "because of the tyranny of the United States." "The Koran obliges every able Muslim to participate in jihad and fight in the way of Allah," Abdulmutallab told the court. "I carried the device to avenge the killing of my Muslim brothers and sisters... Unfortunately, my actions make me guilty of a crime."
"The United States should be warned that if they continue to persist and promote the blasphemy of Mohammad and the prophets," said Abdulmutallab, "the United States should await a great calamity that will befall them through the hands of the mujahedeen soon."
"If you laugh with us now, we will laugh with you later on the day of judgment," he said. Abdulmutallab also said he had been "greatly inspired" by Anwar al-Awlaki and insisted that Awlaki, who had been killed in a U.S. drone strike just weeks earlier, was still alive....
On Christmas Day, 2009, Abdulmutallab flew from Ghana to Amsterdam and boarded Northwest flight 253, bound for Detroit.
As the plane prepared to land in Detroit, Abdulmutallab spent an extended period in the bathroom, and then returned to his seat, where he covered himself with a blanket. When he tried to detonate the bomb in his underwear, passengers heard a popping, and saw flames spreading from his crotch. A Dutch passenger leapt on top of Abdulmutallab and flight attendants stopped the fire with fire extinguishers.
Abdulmutallab was found to have white powder packed into his underwear, as well as a plastic syringe to administer a liquid that was supposed to activate the explosives.
Taken into custody, he was treated for burns to his hands, leg and genitalia.
After the incident, Abdulmutallab told Customs and Border Protection officer Marvin Steigerwald that he obtained the device in Yemen and that he hid it in his underwear. When he was questioned later by two FBI agents, Abdulmutallab said he went to Yemen to become involved in jihad and that he was influenced by a man named Abu Tarak to undertake a suicide operation, investigators said.
Intelligence officials said that while in Yemen, Abdulmutallab also met with Anwar al-Awlaki. In March 2010, Awlaki released a tape praising Abdulmutallab. He addressed the "American people and said that nine years after the 9/11 attacks, "you are still unsafe even in the holiest and most sacred of days to you, Christmas Day."
"Our brother Umar Farouk has succeeded in breaking through the security systems that have cost the U.S. government alone over $40 billion," said Awlaki.
U.S. officials say that Awlaki was in electronic communication with Abdulmutallab repeatedly prior to the bombing of Northwest flight 253.
After Abdulmutallab's arrest, his family in Nigeria released a statement saying they had been so concerned about his political extremism that they had reported him to Nigerian authorities and to "foreign security agencies" months before the bombing.
The statement said that Abdulmutallab's recent behavior was "completely out of character and a very recent development, as before then, from very early childhood, Farouk, to the best of parental monitoring, had never shown any attitude, conduct or association that would give concern."
A senior U.S. official told ABC News that Abdulmutallab's father told the U.S. embassy in Nigeria his son had become radicalized and could pose a threat to the U.S....
He wrote of being lonely and sought friends on-line. "Can you be my friend?" he wrote. "I get lonely sometimes because I have never found a true Muslim friend."
Later, he wrote of joining protests against the war in Iraq, asking "when is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?" Still later he wrote of heading to Yemen....
Videos released by al Qaeda in 2010 showed Abdulmutallab and others in his training class in Yemen firing weapons at a desert camp whose targets included the Jewish star, the British Union Jack and the letters "UN." The tape also included an apparent martyrdom statement in Arabic from the then 23-year old justifying his actions against "the Jews and the Christians and their agents." He says, "the enemy is in your lands with their armies, the Jews and the Christians and their agents." He reads several passages from the Koran and adds, "God said if you do not fight back, He will punish you and replace you."