The infamous underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, originally from Nigeria, was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to blowup a US-bound flight on Christmas day in 2009. Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to the charges against him in the fall of 2011.
Abdulmutallab, the son of a wealthy banker, called the bomb in his underwear a “blessed weapon” that would avenge Muslims around the world. Along with his guilty plea at the time Abdulmutallab said:
“The US should be warned that if they continue to kill and support those who kill innocent Muslims, then the US should await a great calamity… or God will strike them directly.”
Abdulmutallab tried to detonate the device aboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit but the bomb malfunctioned. He was badly burned during the incident.
Despite his appeal against it, the federal appeals court upheld the original life sentence. The court rejected the argument that the sentence was cruel and an unusual punishment for such a crime.
Even though Abdullmutallab pleaded guilty to the charges, he challenged his sentence just one day after his trial began. The so-called underwear bomber was trained for his mission at an Al Queda facility in Yemen under the close personal direction of U.S.-born Islamist Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
Circuit Judge David McKeague said that Abdulmutallab was an “educated and adept individual” who chose a “deliberate, conscious, and complicated path” in the name of martyrdom. He added that the original life sentence given was appropriate considering the seriousness of his crime.
It remains to be seen whether or not the underwear bomber will attempt another appeal in an effort to have his life sentence reduced. Many people believe that even a life sentence isn’t enough and feel he should receive the death penalty for attempting to carry out an act which would have killed countless people ‘in the name of Allah.’