Trial to begin for man accused in underwear attack
DETROIT (AP) — A Nigerian man charged with trying to bring down an airliner near Detroit is going to trial for the first terrorist attack in the U.S. during the Obama administration.
Jury selection starts Tuesday in Detroit's federal court. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb) has legal assistance but is acting as his own attorney and is likely to interview prospective jurors.
The 24-year-old is charged with trying to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas 2009 with a bomb in his underwear. It caused smoke and fire but didn't explode.
Prosecutors have a confession, dozens of witnesses and a video of Abdulmutallab explaining his suicide mission. He told agents that he was directed by radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. military strike last week in Yemen.