US filed charges in attempted Detroit plane bombing

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On December 26, 2009, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) filed charges against Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for attempting to set off an explosive device on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound from Amsterdam to Detroit. US President Barack Obama implemented steps to address air travel security immediately following the attempted attack by increasing screening requirements and the number of air marshals aboard flights. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) ultimately indicted Abdulmutallab with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the US, willful attempt to destroy or wreck an aircraft, willfully placing a destructive device on an aircraft, use of a firearm/destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm/destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence. He initially pleaded not guilty in a US federal court, but later fired his lawyer. On October 12, 2011, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to all counts.

Learn more about the laws governing terrorism and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from the JURIST news archive.

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