DETROIT - A federal appeals court has heard arguments in the case of a Nigerian man who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound jet on Christmas 2009.
An attorney for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab says his guilty plea should be thrown out and a mental competency hearing ordered. Travis Rossman also argues that a life sentence for a young man is extreme, especially when no one except Abdulmutallab was seriously injured aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253.
The 25-year-old called the bomb be carried in his underwear a "blessed weapon" to avenge poorly treated Muslims worldwide.
The bomb didn't fully detonate, but caused a brief fire that burned Abdulmutallab.
He admitted afterward that the attack was inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born cleric and leading al-Qaida figure killed by a U.S. drone strike last fall.
An appeals court in Cincinnati heard arguments Thursday on those issues and more. There was no immediate decision.
Copyright 2013 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.