Guilty plea by '09 underwear bomber will stand

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Associated Press

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 13 at 11:06 AM

DETROIT (AP) — 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.

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