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A Life Sentence for The Nigerian “Underwear Bomber”

The frightful Christmas night when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was taken off a Northwest Airlines flight heading to Detroit will forever be in the memories of the crew and passengers of flight 253. Two years after the incident, the 25-year-old son of a wealthy Nigerian banker has been sentenced to life in prison for his al-Qaeda motivated attempt. Known as the “underwear bomber” for the homemade bomb he created, Abdulmutallab had no emotion during the verdict.

The entire court case was full of dramatics with the terrorist representing himself for most of the court proceedings. Passengers spoke to their anxiety on stand and prosecutors showed a 52-second video of the kind of blast his bomb would have created—at which Abdulmutallab yelled “God is great” during the viewing. No one in his family attended the sentencing and they only hoped for the U.S. Justice Department to review his life sentence. While the location of his life sentence is still being determined, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said this case proved the court’s power “in both incapacitating terrorists and gathering valuable intelligence from them." The Nigerian's lawyer will file an appeal Friday, claiming he would have received a lighter sentence if he was represented by an attorney from the beginning. 

Is a life sentence appropriate justice for the bomber? 

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