Northwest Bomb Plot Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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The Nigerian man suspected of trying to bring down a Detroit-bound flight plead not guilty before a federal judge Friday.

Security was tight as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's arrived for his first court appearance since the Christmas day bombing attempt. Cameras were not allowed inside.

The 23-year-old stood silent as a judge read six charges against him, including use of a weapon of mass destruction and the attempted murder of 289 people. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Outside the Detroit courthouse, Muslim-Americans staged protests against extremists with banners like, "Not in the name of Islam."

Critics of the Obama administration said the trial should be held in a military court.

"If you put someone in a civilian court, in a short period of time a lawyer appointed person shuts up," explained former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. "If you have a person in a military system you can question him endlessly."

A White House report found plenty of blame to go around for missing the clues leading up to Abdulmutallab's would-be attack.

The government had sufficient information before the attempted attack to keep him from boarding the flight to Detroit.

The intelligence community also failed to increase resources to address the threat and the government's terror watch list system failed.

"Ultimately the buck stops with me," President Obama said after the report was released. "As president I have a solemn responsibility to protect our nation the people. When the system fails, it is my responsibility."

The president's national security team is trying to share the blame, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is facing criticism for suggesting she did not know al Qaeda would use suicide bombers in America.

When asked what she found most shocking about the review, Napolitano responded, "The tactic of using an individual to foment an attack as opposed to a large conspiracy or a multi-person conspiracy such as we saw on 9/11."

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CBN News
Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.