Abdulmutallab: Underwear Bomb Was A 'Blessed Weapon"
Abdulmutallab went to trial last October, but stopped the proceedings on the second day by suddenly changing his plea to guilty on all counts.
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.
Lead prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tuckel said he was "very surprised" by Abdulmutallab's decision to plead guilty, as was FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit field office Andy Arena.
"I didn't see this one coming," Arena said.
An attorney working with Abdulmutallab, Anthony Chambers, told reporters it was Abdulmutallab's decision to switch his plea even though Chambers disagreed.
"No lawyer worth his weight in salt would agree," Chambers said. "I thought the evidence was lacking... I don't think there was any damage to that plane."
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.