Nigerian Underwear Bomber Faces Life Sentence

Published February 16, 2012 8:09AM (EST)

DETROIT (AP) — The government expects at least five passengers will speak in court at the sentencing of a Nigerian man who admits trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb) faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison Thursday, four months after pleading guilty in Detroit federal court.

Passenger Shama Chopra (CHO'-prah) of Montreal says she's become "bolder" and "stronger" since the incident. The 56-year-old ran for Canadian Parliament last year, a feat she could not have imagined years ago.

Abdulmutallab tried to detonate a bomb in his underwear as the flight from Amsterdam approached Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The device didn't work but caused smoke and flames and badly burned his groin.

The government says Abdulmutallab was on a suicide mission for al-Qaida.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------