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'Underwear bomber' arraigned on new charges

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arraigned on new charges today.
U.S. Marshals Service
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arraigned on new charges today.

The young Nigerian man accused of trying to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner last Christmas was arraigned on new charges in federal court today.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab entered the courtroom in prison khakis, canvas shoes and red handcuffs.He  stood mute to the new charges, which include conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism. The original indictment, filed almost a year ago, never used the word “terrorism.”

Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day of last year. It’s alleged he tried to ignite explosives hidden in his underwear.

Abdulmutallab again told the judge he wants to represent himself in court. An attorney is servingas stand-by counsel to assist him. After the hearing, that attorney, Anthony Chambers, suggested he planned an aggressive strategy to get some of the charges dismissed before trial.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.