Airline attack suspect in court: 'Anwar is alive'

By

Published:

 

DETROIT (AP) -- A Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down an international jetliner with a bomb in his underwear says a radical Islamic cleric killed by the U.S. military is alive.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb) made the statement Tuesday morning in a federal courtroom in Detroit, where jury selection began in his terror trial.

Abdulmutallab was referring to American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed last week by a U.S. air strike.

Prosecutors say the 24-year-old Abdulmutallab was directed by al-Awlaki and wanted to become a martyr on Christmas 2009 when he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in Amsterdam.