Menu

US

Court upholds guilty plea by Detroit underwear bomber who tried to destroy plane in 2009

An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a Nigerian man who pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with a bomb in his underwear.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb) admitted he was outfitted with a bomb on behalf of al-Qaida. But he still appealed his guilty plea, claiming a Detroit federal judge made a series of improper decisions.

In a 3-0 decision Monday, an appeals court affirmed the conviction and life sentence. The Cincinnati-based court says the judge did nothing wrong in declining to order a mental health exam.

The court says the complexity of Abdulmutallab's plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas 2009 shows he was competent to stand trial.

Abdulmutallab's explosive caused a fire but didn't destroy the plane.