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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 25 January 2022

Alleged Christmas Day bomber to represent self at trial

‘Underwear bomber’ fires his lawyers and says he will present his own case.

Photo released by US authorities from December 2009.
Photo released by US authorities from December 2009.
Image: Anonymous/AP/Press Association Images

THE MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY attempted to blow up a plane in America on Christmas Day last year has fired his lawyers, saying he will represent himself.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, from Nigeria, was arrested for allegedly trying to ignite a chemical explosive carried in his underwear on board a Northwest Airlines flight.

The device failed to explode, and passengers and crew put out the flames which were emitted by the device. Abdulmutallab was treated for burns after the incident.

In January, Abdulmutallab pleaded not guilty to six terrorism charges, including one of  attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He could face life imprisonment if convicted. Authorities allege he was trained by al-Qaida associates.

In court today, Abdulmutallab said he was familiar with court procedures and would represent himself because: “I don’t feel any representation I get would represent me in a way that is in my best interest.” He will next appear in court on 14 October, when a trial date is expected to be scheduled.

The attempted attack resulted in increased security measures being introduced at airports around the world, including the introduction of controversial body scanners.

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