Underwear bomber's family shocked by case

February 16, 2012 - 5:45 PM

DETROIT (AP) — The family of a Nigerian man sentenced to life in prison for trying to destroy an international jetliner says the case brought them "tremendous shock."

Nine members of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb) family traveled to Detroit but did not attend Thursday's hearing. Abdulmutallab is the son of Umaru Mutallab, a wealthy Nigerian banker.

In a statement, the family says anyone who knew Abdulmutallab would believe he'd be the "last person" to try to blow up a plane for al-Qaida. It also says the family is grateful that no one was seriously hurt.

The statement suggests the family doesn't agree with the sentence of life without parole. Just two days into last October's trial, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to trying to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas 2009.