Inside the "underwear bomber" sentencing

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab appears in U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds' courtroom in Detroit Oct. 12, 2011, in this courtroom drawing. AP Photo/Jerry Lemenu

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab entered the courtroom wearing red handcuffs in an oversized white t-shirt and embroidered prayer cap.

As the sentencing went on, he shuffled through manila folders and envelopes, at times looking disinterested and pensive, but rarely looking at the judge or anyone who took the stand.

The judge allowed a video to be played that was shot by the FBI as a simulated example of the destruction caused by 200 grams of PETN before the sentencing.

While Abdulmutallab was only found with 76 grams as evidence, the prosecution argued that the cylinder he used, which was defective and might have leaked explosive material, could have held 200 grams if loosely packed, and even more if highly packed.

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Abdulmutallab shouted "God is great!" twice in Arabic as the video of the simulation was played at several speeds which slowed down the explosion, which was done with PETN placed on an aluminum sheet atop two sawhorses.

While the defendant's attorney, Anthony Chambers, objected to this, the judge denied his objection.

The judge also denied a motion that life sentence for Abdulmutallab amounted to "cruel and unsual punishment," which the defense justified by saying that since his attempt failed, he did not deserve life because he did not injure or kill anyone.

But it was Abdulmutallab himself that spoke in court and insisted that it was the mission of Muslims and the mujahedeen to do just that.

After a short prayer, he said sheik Osama Bin Laden and sheik Awlaki "are alive" and the "mujahedeen are proud to kill for Allah" and that it was "exactly what we were told to do in the Quran".

"Today is a day of victory and god is great," he said during allocution to Judge Nancy Edmunds, adding the fight would continue "until the Jews are driven out of Palestine."

Judge Edmunds gave him the maximum penalty on 8 counts, saying that even on this day, Abdulmutallab "never expressed doubt or regret or remorse."

Just before sentencing, she read from a recent New Yorker article by Adam Gopnik about the psychological tumult and torture time causes for those who are incarcerated.

Abdulmutallab "is 23, 24 years old now." said the judge. "He has only that to look forward to. And it seems to me just punishment for what he has done."

Lemare Mason, a Delta flight attendant on board who put out the fire caused by Abdulmutallab's device, wept openly in court, saying the defendant "stole and robbed" his "dream job of traveling the world." He has continuing nightmares and dislikes getting on a plane despite continuing his job. Mason also said he goes to therapy, adding: "I wake in night sweats and terrors that someone will blow up the aircraft."

Shama Chopra, also on board, talked about how she could "smell the burning flesh" of Abdulmutallab when his device went off. She said his actions had changed her for the better.

"Your action made me bolder and bigger", she stated, and gave him a rosary in hopes he would change. She also said she would be the first to ask the president to pardon him if she believed that change occurred in him. "I forgive you Farouk. Good luck Farouk" were her closing remarks.

Another passenger said Abdulmutallab's "zeal for God is misplaced and misguided" and that he would pray for him every day.

Kurt and Lori Haskell spoke separately, with the former saying he believed he had witnessed an English speaking man bring Abdulmutallab through security without a passport and, that the attempt at terrorism was a government planned conspiracy.

His wife said nothing of the sort, saying "I thought my life was over. I was never so scared in my life and hope never to be that scared again."

Below watch evidence presented in court showing what Abdulmutallab's underwear bomb could have done if it detonated.

  • Ryan Corsaro

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