The trial of a Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009 is set to go full steam ahead next week as the jury was finally picked Thursday.
After three days of hearings in a Detroit court, a jury of nine women and three men with four alternates was chosen to try Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Abdulmutallab, 24, has insisted on representing himself on charges of trying to detonate a bomb on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight with 300 people on board.
Judge Nancy Edmunds has repeatedly urged Abdulmutallab to let a lawyer argue his case, and appointed “standby counsel” to help him contest the charges.
While he accepted some help from lawyer Anthony Chambers, Abdulmutallab had insisted he would make his own opening statement on Tuesday when the trial gets fully underway.
However, court official Rod Hansen said Abdulmutallab had now told the judge he may change his plans. He has until late Friday to decide, ahead of what is expected to be a weeks-long trial.
Abdullmutallab, the son of a prominent Nigerian banker, had run into trouble at the start of jury selection on Tuesday when he shouted out “Anwar is alive,” in the courtroom in reference to Anwar Al-Awlaqi, the US-born cleric who was killed in a suspected US drone strike in Yemen last week.
And in another equally virulent outburst before the judge entered the courtroom, he said “the mujahedeen will wipe out the US, the cancer US.”
Edmunds also ordered him to change out of an oversized white T-shirt and into something “more appropriate” for the court.
The December 25 plot was foiled when explosives allegedly stitched into Abdulmutallab’s underwear failed to detonate and only caused a small fire, allowing passengers and crew members to restrain him.
The botched operation triggered global alarm and led the United States to adopt stringent new screening and security measures, including controversial pat-downs at airports and a massive expansion of the no-fly list.
Jurors will be shown a reproduction of the underwear that Abdulmutallab allegedly wore to hide the explosives and are expected to hear testimony from the plane’s passengers and crew.
Photo: Flickr user [email protected].
‘It’s treachery if not treason’: Harvard’s Laurence Tribe destroys Trump’s claim he’s above the law
Legendary constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe explained the legality of President Donald Trump's claim to be above the law during a Thursday evening appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.
The host played a notorious clip of Trump.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters. Okay? It’s like incredible," Trump argued.
"And now he has gone beyond that," O'Donnell noted. "Now the president is sayin, 'I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I cannot be prosecuted for that crime. Or any crime.'"
Internet blown away by Giuliani’s ‘pants-sh*tting panic’ freak out on CNN’s Cuomo
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received harsh reviews of his Thursday evening appearance on CNN with anchor Chris Cuomo.
Many people worried about Giuliani's mental health after watching the interview.
Here is some of what people were saying about Trump's defense attorney.
Maddow is visibly shocked Trump is claiming in court the president can’t even be investigated
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC was flabbergasted by the latest court moves by President Donald Trump as he continues to hide his tax returns from investigators.
The host noted the ongoing legal battle Trump is waging to keep his accounting firm, Mazars, from handing over eight years of his tax returns to New York state investigators.
The host was shocked by the headline on the front-page of The Washington Post website.
[caption id="attachment_1544917" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Headline in The New York Times: "Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated" screengrab.[/caption]