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Accused “Underwear Bomber” will represent himself in court today

Bryan Alaspa's picture

During a court hearing on Thursday the man known as the accused “Underwear Bomber” will be representing himself after he fired his lawyers. Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is accused of trying to blow up a plane on Christmas of 2009 using explosives hidden away in his underwear. The hearing had been delayed about a month by a federal judge to give AbdulMutallab time to prepare for his defense.

The young man decided he did not want the court appointed defense attorneys assigned to him to continue to represent him back in September. At that point he told the judge that he wanted to represent himself in the case and that request was granted by federal judge Nancy Edmunds. Standby counsel has been appointed for him, however.

AbdulMultallab is the British-educated son of a prominent Nigerian businessman. He is accused of trying to set off explosives hidden in his underwear during a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit last Christmas. Instead, other passengers saw what he was doing and the explosives caused only burns, flames and smoke and did not explode.

Accused faces six charges

AbdulMultallab faces six federal charges. One of them is the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and the willful attempt to destroy an aircraft. So far he has pleaded not guilty. However, when he spoke to the judge in September he stated he wished to plead guilty on some charges, just not all of them.

This is not an unheard of precedent, having an accused terror suspect represent himself. A man charged in connection with the September 11 terror attack, Zacarias Moussaoui, also represented himself. He was later stripped of that right during the course of the trial because the judge accused him of filing frivolous and disrespectful court orders.

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