Federal terrorism trial set to start in Detroit

Oct 10, 2011

A high-profile federal terrorism trial starts in Detroit tomorrow. A jury will decide whether a 24-year-old Nigerian man tried to detonate a bomb on a Detroit-bound flight two years ago.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab will not deliver the opening statement. He’s decided to leave that to the stand-by counsel appointed to him by the court.

That same attorney has handled most of the court proceedings so far. Anthony Chambers questioned all but one juror for the defense during jury selection.

At trial, government prosecutors are expected to present exhibits including a video of similar explosives being detonated in a field, and a so-called “martyrdom” video the defendant allegedly recorded.

Prosecutors are also expected to link Abdulmutallab to Anwar al-Awlaki. He was a U.S. born cleric and a leader of Al Qaelda in Yemen, where the defendant allegedly trained. Al-Awlaki was killed last month in a U.S. drone strike.