Bomber’s parents ask US to review sentence

2012-02-17 10:32

Lagos - Parents of the Nigerian 'underwear bomber' who tried to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day in 2009 have asked the US to review the life sentence handed down to their son, a statement said on Friday.

"We strongly appeal to the American Justice Department to review the life sentence," Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's family said in the statement sent to the media in Nigeria.

"We also appeal to the Federal Republic of Nigeria to... engage with the American government to ensure that a review is made to show justice in accordance with the circumstances of Umar Farouk's case," the statement further said.

A judge in the US state of Michigan on Thursday condemned Abdulmutallab, 25, to four consecutive life sentences for his botched attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound airliner and kill the 289 people on board.

In court, Abdulmutallab declared he was "proud to kill in the name of God" as he defended his actions, seen as a part of an al-Qaeda plot.

US Attorney General Eric Holder hailed the verdict, calling Abdulmutallab "a remorseless terrorist who believes it is his duty to kill Americans".

The family said they learned of the "unfortunate news" of the attempted bombings on December 26 2009.

"It was with tremendous shock that we discovered our son, Umar Farouk, was allegedly involved," the statement said.

"This was so because even though he had gone missing by that time and there were concerns about his situation, he was nevertheless the last person anyone who knew him would link to such actions.

"We are grateful to God that the unfortunate incident of that date did not result in any injury or death. We pray for a more peaceful world," the statement also said.