first_imgDETROIT (AP) — A Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down an international jetliner with a bomb in his underwear told a federal court Tuesday that a radical Islamic cleric killed by the U.S. military is alive and called the United States a cancer.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, made the statement as jury selection began for his federal terror trial in Detroit, where he is acting as his own attorney.“Anwar is alive,” Abdulmutallab told the court before questioning of potential jurors got under way. “The mujahadeen will wipe out the U.S. — the cancer U.S.”The government says Abdulmutallab, a well-educated Nigerian from an upper-class family, was directed in the attack by American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed Friday by a joint CIA-U.S. military air strike in Yemen.Abdulmutallab said he wanted to become a martyr on Christmas 2009, when he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in Amsterdam, according to the government.The failed attack was the first act of terrorism in the U.S. during the Obama administration, and it could have implications in the debate over whether terrorism suspects should be tried in civilian or military courts.last_img

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