A US court has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
The 23-year-old faces life imprisonment if convicted on charges which include attempted murder. He barely spoke as he made his first appearance at a court in Detroit on Friday.
It’s more than a fortnight since he tried to set off explosives sewn into his clothing aboard a Delta Northwest airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
The failed attack has prompted the US government to order a security overhaul.
Meanwhile two suspects linked to a separate bomb plot have been arrested in New York after a high speed car chase.
One of them, Zarein Ahmedzay, 25, appeared in court on Friday. They are alleged associates of Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old Afghan-born man accused of plotting a bomb attack on New York City on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The charges though relate to time the three may have spent in militant training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The allegations are that he wasn’t completely truthful about where he went and where John Doe went when they were in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said his defence lawyer, Michael Marinaccio.
“Whether or not that’s accurate, that’s what we’re going to determine.”
The second man arrested on Friday, Adis Medunjanin, is due to appear in court later today.