A United States District Court in Detroit, Michigan on Thursday sentenced 25-year-old Nigerian, Umar Abdulmutallab, to life in prison without parole for trying to bomb an American airliner on Christmas Day 2009.
Abdulmutallab had pleaded guilty to attempting to blow up a commercial plane as a would-be suicide mission for al-Qaeda.
He was badly burned when a bomb sewn into his underwear failed to detonate fully, prosecutors said.
Almost 300 people were on the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Some of the passengers from the flight were in the courtroom as Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds announced the sentence.
The son of a Nigerian banker, Abdulmutallab faced eight counts against him, including terrorism and attempted murder.
Ahead of the sentencing, assistant defence lawyer Anthony Chambers argued that a life sentence for Abdulmutallab would be unconstitutional, since no other passengers were hurt.
Sentencing guidelines directed the judge to impose a mandatory life sentence, but Mr Chambers appealed for a lighter term.
“Not one passenger lost his or her life. Not one passenger suffered life-threatening injuries,” he said.
Prosecutors said a life sentence was warranted because an attempted terror attack heightens public fear and burdens airports with expensive and time-consuming security procedures.
Abdulmutallab and some of the passengers aboard the Detroit-bound flight were expected to make statements at the hearing.
Shama Chopra, 56, a passenger on the flight, told the Associated Press that she has felt bolder and stronger since surviving the flight.
“I don’t have to be scared of anything. God has given me a second chance to live.”[Punch]