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Kurt Haskell: "Underwear Bomber Jury Selection Hearing October 4, 2011"

"...question the jurors... ...What was most interesting to me was the type of questions asked by Judge Edmunds and Chambers. The following questions were asked multiple times with slightly different variations:
1. Do you think after listening to the evidence that you will be able to determine whether the Defendant actually possessed a "bomb"?
2. Do you realize that sometimes the media does not always report the truth?...."---Kurt Haskell


Umar questions jury pool

Images - Jerry Lemenu / AP

Underwear Bomber Jury Selection Hearing October 4, 2011
by Kurt Haskell
From HaskellFamily Blog - http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2011/10/underwear-bomber-jury-selection-hearing.html

Yesterday, I went to the first day of jury selection in the underwear bomber case. I was the only passenger from the flight present. Lori could not attend as she had a hearing in Mt. Clemens that she could not get out of. The process involved picking 40 potential jurors to bring back on October 6, 2011. The selection of the jury will be made that day from the remaining 40 potential jurors. The process I witnessed involved the judge asking questions of each juror, then the prosecution asking questions and finally the defense asking questions. The prosecution and the defense were given 6 minutes each to question each juror. Only one juror was allowed in the courtroom at a time. I was in the courtroom when Umar arrived. When he entered he said "Great Mujahideen, Anwar is alive" referring to Anwar Al Awlaki and his reported recent death. He then said "We will wipe out the U.S., the cancer that is the U.S." Judge Edmunds had not yet arrived. When Judge Edmunds got there, she told Umar he should dress better to make a better impression on the jurors. He was dressed in a white t-shirt as he always is. Umar said "I wanted to wear a Yemeni belt with a dagger, but nobody would let me". Judge Edmunds then said "I don't think you'll be bringing a dagger into my courtroom". Umar then said that he wanted to change and the court went into recess. Umar returned shortly thereafter and was dressed in a tan collared shirt and a black suit coat. When he entered the court this time he said "Allah Akbar Anwar is alive". Judge Edmunds again was not in the courtroom. Jury questioning then began. I stayed for 4 hours and watched 18 jurors get questioned. Of the 18 that were questioned, 5 were sent home and 13 told to come back on October 6, 2011. Judge Edmunds indicated that either Umar or stand-by Attorney Chambers could question the jurors, but only one could question each juror. Umar only questioned one juror. He actually did a good job in questioning the one juror. He sounded intelligent and well spoken. The juror Umar questioned was juror #119, a 60 year old white female who stated that "I am concerned about being attacked after the verdict". That is what Umar questioned her about. He wanted to know if she was concerned about being attacked after a guilty verdict or a not guilty verdict. She stated that she was concerned both ways. This juror was told to come back. What was most interesting to me was the type of questions asked by Judge Edmunds and Chambers. The following questions were asked multiple times with slightly different variations:

1. Do you think after listening to the evidence that you will be able to determine whether the Defendant actually possessed a "bomb"?

2. Do you realize that sometimes the media does not always report the truth?

Obviously, each of these questions points directly at what I've been saying for months. Umar was given a fake bomb and put on this plane intentionally to stage a false terrorist attack. Also, the question about the media indicates knowledge that the media has been complicit in the lie. I spoke to several reporters once again. They were from Reuters, AP, UPI, CNN, Detroit News, and a couple of others. Also, the Detroit Free Press reporter asked to talk to me and I said "Why? You never actually report anything that I say". Sadly, the AP was the only one to report anything that I said. Here is a link to the article (The AP is used by several media outlets):

http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2011/10/05/news/doc4e8ba1c8dad56858908674.txt

The CNN reporter did indicate that we would continue our interview on October 6, 2011. This time, as opposed to others, it seemed as if the reporters were starting to realize that my theory of events is indeed correct. I had more of them agreeing with me instead of grilling me over the evidence. This had not previously been the case. Also, I am now seeing a change in the language in regards to how this story is reported. Previously, articles would read, Umar is "being charged with attempting to detonate . . ." Now articles are stating that "The government says" Umar intended to blow up the plane . . ." This is a small but significant change. It shows that the media is now reporting that what the government says may not be what really happened. See this story for an example:

http://www.eagletribune.com/worldnational/x597293726/Airline-attack-suspect-starts-trial-with-outburst/print

Note that none of the major media outlets reported anything in reference to the two questions I listed above, however, except for the live blog from the courthouse running on Freep.com, which only indicated the following:

12:17 p.m.
"The media is taking a beating in juror interviews. The 15th person to be questioned for jury duty – a computer analyst for a major retailer -- agreed with Edmunds that the media doesn’t always get it right. It’s the same response Edmunds got from other jurors, several of whom don’t read or listen to the news. But based on what she has seen and heard, she thinks Abdulmutallab is guilty. “I don’t believe that was an innocent act,” she said in response to Chambers’ questions."

You can look at it here for now, but look quick as the Free Press is known for erasing evidence that supports the real story of events from its website:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011111004013

Lastly, I did have a chance to talk to Chamber's associate attorney for a minute and found out that my status as a witness is currently "undetermined". That's an improvement over what I thought it was. We agreed to meet in Chambers office soon. Final jury selection is tomorrow and I will be going down to watch the festivities. Sadly, this is the only way to find out what is really going on.

From HaskellFamily Blog - http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2011/10/underwear-bomber-jury-selection-hearing.html

TIMELINE AND RUNNING RECORD
http://911blogger.com/node/22270

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(The referenced news articles are posted in full below, because sometimes they become expunged.)
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http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2011/10/05/news/doc4e8ba1c8dad56858908674.txt
Underwear bomber: 'The cancer U.S.'
by Ed White - Associated Press

Airline attack suspect starts trial with outburst

DETROIT — A Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down a jetliner with a bomb in his underwear made a defiant political outburst Tuesday, demonstrating again why his courtroom behavior will be closely watched throughout the trial where he's representing himself.

"The mujahadeen will wipe out the U.S. — the cancer U.S.," said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, scowling as he referred to Muslim guerrilla fighters.

When marshals removed his handcuffs, he also claimed that a radical Muslim cleric killed last week by the American military is still alive.

In nearly two years of legal proceedings, Abdulmutallab has normally been polite and studious in front of the judge and prospective jurors. But in the moments before court, he's shown a tendency to make comments reflecting loyalty to al-Qaida and contempt for the United States.

The 24-year-old is charged in federal court with trying to destroy the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas 2009. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is expected to last three or four weeks.

Prospective jurors were questioned one by one, and most were told to return Thursday for inclusion in the final pool of 37 to 45 people.

Abdulmutallab, who is acting as his own lawyer, briefly questioned a potential juror, who expressed concern about people possibly "waiting in the wings outside the courthouse," no matter the verdict.

"There could be people who would be angry and want to retaliate?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied.

There was no good indication how active Abdulmutallab will be when witnesses begin testifying next week. On Tuesday, he rarely looked up from the defense table and deferred most questions to Anthony Chambers, his court-appointed standby attorney. He wrote or read and quietly talked to Chambers about whether to request that a jury candidate be excused.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds reminded him that appearances are important. She firmly recommended that he not wear jail clothes and instead put on something that would make a "better impression on jurors," at least a shirt with buttons to replace an oversized white T-shirt.

Abdulmutallab asked whether he could wear a traditional Yemeni belt with a dagger — a request the judge swiftly denied.

He returned with a dark pinstriped suit coat over a full-length tunic, with a black skull cap.

Abdulmutallab, a well-educated man from a wealthy African family, has spent two years in custody and rarely causes a ripple in court. But Tuesday's outburst was his second in two weeks.

"Anwar is alive," Abdulmutallab said, referring to American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in an air strike in Yemen just days ago.

The government alleges Abdulmutallab's attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was directed by al-Awlaki. In September, he made a reference in court to slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who has called him a "hero," and complained about his prison clothes.

But Abdulmutallab has never showed defiance in front of Edmunds, a judge who has spent nearly 20 years on the bench.

"I don't know if he's trying to make a show. It's totally out of character" compared to past court appearances, said Kurt Haskell, a Detroit-area attorney who was a passenger on Flight 253. "Even when he lit the bomb, he didn't make a peep."

Abdulmutallab has pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including conspiracy to commit terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The government says he intended to blow up the plane by detonating chemicals in his underwear just seven minutes before the jet carrying 279 passengers and a crew of 11 was to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The bomb failed, and passengers assisted by crew members saw flames and pounced on Abdulmutallab. It was the first terrorist act in the U.S. during the Obama administration.

The government says Abdulmutallab willingly explained the plot twice, first to U.S. border officers who took him off the plane and then in more detail to FBI agents who interviewed him at a hospital for 50 minutes, following treatment for serious burns to his groin.

As the judge and lawyers combed through prospective jurors, exposure to news reports about the case was a major topic. The first two people were quickly excused when they doubted they could be fair.

Some of the most intense questioning involved Chambers and a woman who works on computer networks for a major retailer. Names and other personal details were not revealed in court.

On her questionnaire, she said the alleged attack was not an "accident" or the "act of an innocent man." But in court, she said she could put that view aside.

"I may have a lot of opinions but there is a right to a fair trial based on facts, not opinions," she said.

Chambers wanted her removed but the judge kept her in the pool.
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http://www.eagletribune.com/worldnational/x597293726/Airline-attack-suspect-starts-trial-with-outburst/print
Airline attack suspect starts trial with outburst

DETROIT (AP) — A Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down a jetliner with a bomb in his underwear made a defiant political outburst Tuesday, demonstrating again why his courtroom behavior will be closely watched throughout the trial where he's representing himself.

"The mujahadeen will wipe out the U.S. — the cancer U.S.," said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, scowling as he referred to Muslim guerrilla fighters.

When marshals removed his handcuffs, he also claimed that a radical Muslim cleric killed last week by the American military is still alive.

In nearly two years of legal proceedings, Abdulmutallab has normally been polite and studious in front of the judge and prospective jurors. But in the moments before court, he's shown a tendency to make comments reflecting loyalty to al-Qaida and contempt for the United States.

The 24-year-old is charged in federal court with trying to destroy the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas 2009. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is expected to last three or four weeks.

Prospective jurors were questioned one by one, and most were told to return Thursday for inclusion in the final pool of 37 to 45 people.

Abdulmutallab, who is acting as his own lawyer, briefly questioned a potential juror, who expressed concern about people possibly "waiting in the wings outside the courthouse," no matter the verdict.

"There could be people who would be angry and want to retaliate?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied.

There was no good indication how active Abdulmutallab will be when witnesses begin testifying next week. On Tuesday, he rarely looked up from the defense table and deferred most questions to Anthony Chambers, his court-appointed standby attorney. He wrote or read and quietly talked to Chambers about whether to request that a jury candidate be excused.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds reminded him that appearances are important. She firmly recommended that he not wear jail clothes and instead put on something that would make a "better impression on jurors," at least a shirt with buttons to replace an oversized white T-shirt.

Abdulmutallab asked whether he could wear a traditional Yemeni belt with a dagger — a request the judge swiftly denied.

He returned with a dark pinstriped suit coat over a full-length tunic, with a black skull cap.

Abdulmutallab, a well-educated man from a wealthy African family, has spent two years in custody and rarely causes a ripple in court. But Tuesday's outburst was his second in two weeks.

"Anwar is alive," Abdulmutallab said, referring to American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in an air strike in Yemen just days ago.

The government alleges Abdulmutallab's attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was directed by al-Awlaki. In September, he made a reference in court to slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who has called him a "hero," and complained about his prison clothes.

But Abdulmutallab has never showed defiance in front of Edmunds, a judge who has spent nearly 20 years on the bench.

"I don't know if he's trying to make a show. It's totally out of character" compared to past court appearances, said Kurt Haskell, a Detroit-area attorney who was a passenger on Flight 253. "Even when he lit the bomb, he didn't make a peep."

Abdulmutallab has pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including conspiracy to commit terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The government says he intended to blow up the plane by detonating chemicals in his underwear just seven minutes before the jet carrying 279 passengers and a crew of 11 was to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The bomb failed, and passengers assisted by crew members saw flames and pounced on Abdulmutallab. It was the first terrorist act in the U.S. during the Obama administration.

The government says Abdulmutallab willingly explained the plot twice, first to U.S. border officers who took him off the plane and then in more detail to FBI agents who interviewed him at a hospital for 50 minutes, following treatment for serious burns to his groin.

As the judge and lawyers combed through prospective jurors, exposure to news reports about the case was a major topic. The first two people were quickly excused when they doubted they could be fair.

Some of the most intense questioning involved Chambers and a woman who works on computer networks for a major retailer. Names and other personal details were not revealed in court.

On her questionnaire, she said the alleged attack was not an "accident" or the "act of an innocent man." But in court, she said she could put that view aside.

"I may have a lot of opinions but there is a right to a fair trial based on facts, not opinions," she said.

Chambers wanted her removed but the judge kept her in the pool.
———
Associated Press Writer Jeff Karoub contributed to this report.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011111004013
Live blog: Prospective jurors grilled about backgrounds, knowledge of case for accused underwear bomber trial
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER

Underwear bombing suspect Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab is seeing potential jurors in federal court today, as the actual jury selection process officially begins in the highly anticipated terror trial. Free Press staff writer David Ashenfelter is live blogging from court, where U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds is presiding. Follow along below.

Past coverage: Underwear bombing suspect to meet with potential jurors today http://www.freep.com/article/20111004/NEWS01/111004003/Underwear-bombing-suspect-meet-potential-jurors-today?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

5:01 p.m.
Jurors cited various reasons for wanting to serve – or not serve – on the jury for Abdulmutallab’s trial. The 27th prospective juror, a woman who just graduated from law school, said in her questionnaire that she welcomed the opportunity to get an inside view of a trial. She told Edmunds that she wouldn’t let her legal training get in the way of serving as a juror, even if she thought jurors misunderstood a jury instruction. She said she would serve as a citizen first and a lawyer second and that she would be directed by Edmunds’ instructions. Prosecutors challenged her selection, but Edmunds overruled them. We have 20 jurors in the pool.

Edmunds said she hopes to get the rest of the potential jurors selected by Thursday morning and spend the afternoon whittling the pool down to 12 jurors and four alternates.

4:32 p.m.
Several prospective jurors probably are thanking their lucky stars that their names are being withheld. One woman said she has been evicted twice from her home. Others talked about relatives who faced criminal charges or served time in prison. The 26th prospective juror to be called to Edmunds’ courtroom, an administrator for a substance abuse counseling center, said her ex-husband faced criminal charges out of state.

She said he was treated fairly by the court system. She said she had only one concern when she received her jury summons – how long she’d be required to serve. But she said she has no problem serving at the trial, which is expected to take four weeks. She became the 19th prospective juror and the 15th woman to be included in the pool.

4:08 p.m.
The 24th juror called to Edmunds’ courtroom appeared to be going down in flames. The woman, an account representative for a payroll company, said her initial impression about the case is that Abdulmutallab was guilty and shouldn’t be tried in a U.S. court. “We are wasting time and U.S. money in a case like this,” she said. “His intentions were to blow up a plane.”

But in retrospect, since filling out the jury questionnaire, she said she now believes Abdulmutallab is entitled to a trial in civil court and that she could set aside her personal feelings and follow the law and the evidence to give him a fair trial. Despite a through grilling, Chambers didn’t challenge her and she’s been added to the jury pool. We now have 18 people in the pool, 14 women and four men.

3:32 p.m.
Edmunds just excused a juror who has a lot going on in his life. He is suing his sister to embezzlement and his wife has serious medical problems. With that, the court went into recess for about 10 minutes. So far, there are 17 potential jurors in the pool. Six jury candidates have been excused or dismissed. The pool currently includes 13 women and four men.

3:17 p.m.
Edmunds just added a 17th member to the jury pool. She’s a laid off office manager for a construction company. She said she assumed Abdulmutallab was a terrorist when she first heard about the case, but says she could be fair “depending on the facts” presented at trial. She said she could be fair even if Abdulmutallab doesn’t’ take the witness stand or present any evidence. Chambers wanted to exclude her and prosecutors wanted to include her.

2:58 p.m.
The 16th juror to be added to a jury pool once served as a foreperson on a 48th District Court jury, but said she couldn’t remember if it was a criminal or civil trial. She said she had heard about the attempted airline bombing when it happened, but said she could give the defendant a fair trial. She has taken at least 16 flights in the past five years.

2:50 p.m.
Edmunds just added a 15th member to the jury pool… a female teaching aide who works with emotionally-impaired children. Like many of the other jurors, she said she knows very little about the case because she doesn't keep up with the news. She said her husband listens to television v news, but she regards it as "background noise."

2:32 p.m.
Edmunds added a 14th juror to the pool. He’s a man with two drunk driving convictions. He said prosecutors treated him fairly both times and that he could give Abdulmutallab a fair trial.

2:20 p.m.
Edmunds just added a 13th person to the jury pool. The prosecutor wanted him excused because he has hearing problems, but the defense wanted him in. Edmunds included him in the jury pool.

Court spokesman Rod Hansen said Edmunds plans to select 37-47 members for the pool, from which 12 jurors and four alternates will be selected.

12:59 p.m.
The 17th potential juror questioned today said he supervises a water and sewer line installation crew and serves as a volunteer fire fighter. He admitted he has some bias toward the defendant. He doesn’t listen to the news much, but what he’s heard about the case and what is knows about 9/11 is disturbing, he said.

“I got a little hard feelings about what happened, but I don’t know the whole story,” the man told Edmunds, apparently referring to the current case.

He told Chambers he didn’t think he could be fair.

Edmunds agreed and excused him for cause.

The court then recessed for lunch.

So far, 12 jurors have been added to the jury pool and five people have been dismissed.

12:20 p.m.
There’s some disagreement in the media room about how many jurors will be placed into the jury pool. Some say 40, some say 45 and someone else says 37. We’ll check on this as the day goes along. News evolves.

12:17 p.m.
The media is taking a beating in juror interviews. The 15th person to be questioned for jury duty – a computer analyst for a major retailer -- agreed with Edmunds that the media doesn’t always get it right. It’s the same response Edmunds got from other jurors, several of whom don’t read or listen to the news. But based on what she has seen and heard, she thinks Abdulmutallab is guilty. “I don’t believe that was an innocent act,” she said in response to Chambers’ questions.

Bottom line: she said she could be fair, although she told Chambers she wouldn’t be comfortable if she were in Abdulmutallab’’s shoes with her on the jury.

The prosecution accepted her, but Chambers didn’t want her in the jury pool.

But Edmunds is accepting her because she said she believes in and respects the jury system and believes she can be fair.

Tukel said there’s no basis for rejecting her for cause because the woman said she would hear the evidence and be fair.

Edmunds went with the government and denied the challenge.

This was our first disagreement between prosecutors and the defense on jury selection.

So far, nine women and two men have been put in the 40-member jury pool.

12:02 p.m.
The tenth juror added to the pool is a female nurse's aide whose son is a Detroit police officer. Despite his law enforcement background, she said she can be fair. Like some of the other prospective jurors, she doesn’t keep up with the news.

11:45 a.m.
Edmunds just added another juror to the pool. She works as a hearing loss technician at the University of Michigan Hospital where Abdulmutallab was treated for burns after he was taken into custody at Detroit Metro Airport.

The woman said she doesn’t know anyone who works in the burn unit, so there should be no problem if a burn unit employee is called to testify. She said she could be fair. And now, she’s the eighth prospective juror to be added to the poll. So far, four jurors have been rejected either because of bias or other problems.

11:35 a.m.
Edmunds just excused a potential juror who said she is bipolar and has a hard time sitting for a long time and keeping things straight in her mind.

“I was diagnosed as bipolar and that means sometimes things are not reality,” she said.

11:18 a.m.
We’re back in session with a Yugoslavian immigrant who came to the U.S. with his parents in 1969 when he was 4. He says he can’t afford to serve on the jury because he is a self-employed hair dresser whose business can’t function without him. But he conceded after Edmunds told him that the trial would run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily that he probably could manage to serve on the jury and run his business..

He said in his jury questionnaire that he couldn’t afford a non-U.S. citizen the same fairness as a U.S. citizen, but now says he has changed his mind. Edmunds said she appreciated his candor.

He has been accepted into the jury pool.

10:37 a.m.

You hear it all in jury selection.

The ninth juror called to the witness stand is an unemployed former caregiver who has a relative who spent five years in prison for robbery. She said he learned from the experience and was treated fairly.

Under questioning from prosecutor Tukel, the woman said she got into a scrape with the government over a $5,000 unpaid student loan. But she said the episode didn’t leave her with any negative opinions about the government or the IRS. She said she could give the defendant a fair trial.

She watches Detroit television news regularly, but doesn’t seem to know much about the case.

No one challenged her, so she’s in the jury pool.

We’re taking a 15-20 minute break.

10:28 a.m.

The eighth prospective juror to take the stand is a financial counselor and former registered nurse who has traveled on more than 200 domestic and international flights during the past five years. What she knows about the case, she heard on television news.

“I love watching Channel 4 news,” she told the judge.

She said she has avoided watching television since filling out her jury questionnaire last month.

Although her husband is a career military person, she doesn’t think it would affect her ability to be fair. She’s also involved in church, but doesn’t think it would hinder her ability to give a Muslim a fair trial.

“I think all men are innocent until proven guilty,” she said.

She’s the fifth prospective juror accepted into the 40-member jury pool, from which 12 jurors and four alternates will be selected. We’re making progress!

10:13 a.m.

The next prospective juror is a part-time business administration student who works part time as a restaurant server. His boss has no problems with him serving on the jury and it won’t cause a financial hardship.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cathleen Corken asked him questions about whether he has negative views about the government since the man indicated in his jury questionnaire that the case more appropriately belongs in a civil court rather than in a military tribunal. He said he has no negative views about the government.

Chambers wants to know how much he has followed the case. The man agreed that the media can portray things inaccurately at times, which is reason, he said, that jury trials are best.

He’s in the jury pool.

10:05 a.m.

The next prospective juror is a retired debt collector.

“That must have been pretty stressful,” Edmunds said.

The woman disagreed. “I treated customers with honey, not vinegar.”

Currently, she’s working with her church to get delinquent members to get back to church.

Edmunds asked the woman if she could be fair. She said she could.

She told Chamber she doesn’t know much about the case, just something about trying to detonate a bomb concealed in his underwear.

“I don’t like listening to the news and reading the newspapers that often,” she said. She said the media is filled with bad news.

She’s in the jury pool.

9:56 a.m.

Edmunds just excused prospective juror 5 because the woman just graduated, landed a job at Oakwood Hospital and isn’t sure what her new employer would think about her serving as a juror in a lengthy trial.

9:52 a.m.

The next prospective juror is a female administrative assistant for an information technology department. She expressed concern in her jury questionnaire about public reaction to the verdict.

“I’m concerned about who will be waiting in the wings outside the courthouse,” she told Edmunds.

Edmunds told her jurors’ names will never be made public, which seemed to reassure the woman.

Abdulmutallab, who is representing himself with the help of Chambers, asked her what she feared. This is the first juror he has questioned.

“I have a fear of retaliation from…terrorists,” she said.

She was accepted into the jury pool.

9:47 p.m.
The third prospective juror is a female homemaker who enjoys reading. She has a daughter who attends Michigan State University. She also likes to cook.

The woman says she understands that defendants are innocent until proven guilty of the charges and says she could be fair.

Under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Corken, the woman said she sat as a juror last year in a criminal case in Plymouth District Court. They found the defendants not guilty.

In response to questions from Anthony Chambers, the woman said she had heard about the case through CNN.

No one challenged the woman for cause, so she’s in the jury pool.

9:32 a.m.
The second prospective juror is a female sales administrator in the automotive business. She has worked there for 28 years and loves her job.

“It’s great that you love your job,” Edmunds said. She likes to play with her dog, a Labrador retriever, and going to the casino with her brother. Edmunds said she didn’t get a single questionnaire involving someone who hadn’t heard about the case. Edmunds said a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The woman said she understood that.

In response to a question on the jury questionnaire, she said her opinion is that the defendant is guilty. Edmunds wants to know if she could listen to the evidence and be fair.

“He tried to kill 300 innocent people,” the prospective juror said. “I just feel he’s very guilty.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel asked her if she could put aside her feelings and give him a fair trial. “Possibly,” she said. “I just have this guilty verdict in me.”

Edmunds excused the juror.

9:27 a.m.
The first prospective juror was excused because he said he couldn't think he could be fair.

9:24 a.m.
Edmunds will question prospective jurors first. Then prosecutors and the defendant or his lawyer will get about six minutes each. Edmunds says Abdulmutallab or his lawyer, Anthony Chambers, can question jurors, but not both. She plans to call jurors in one at a time. After questioning, if the juror isn’t challenged for cause, the prospective juror will be asked to return Thursday afternoon for the final round of jury selection.

The first juror is a former Detroit cop who says he probably would have difficulty being fair.

9:06 a.m.
Jury selection in the trial of bombing suspect Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab got off to a strange start this morning when U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds urged the suspect to change from a t-shirt into a shirt with a collar.

At one point, Edmunds told Abdulmutallab, a 24-year-old Nigerian student, he could not wear a Yemeni belt with a dagger. She said that would be inappropriate.

Edmunds called a recess so the defendants could be escorted downstairs at the federal courthouse in Detroit to change into something more appropriate.

~~~~~~ (The associated Detroit Free Press article which is mentioned above... )~~~~~

http://www.freep.com/article/20111004/NEWS01/111004003/Underwear-bombing-suspect-meet-potential-jurors-today?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
http://www.freep.com/article/20111004/NEWS01/111004003/Underwear-bombing-suspect-meet-potential-jurors-today?odyssey=tab

Underwear bombing suspect to meet with potential jurors today Oct 4
BY TRESA BALDAS AND DAVID ASHENFELTER

Underwear bombing suspect Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab will get his first face-to-face meeting with potential jurors in federal court this morning, when the actual jury selection process officially begins in the highly anticipated terror trial.

The defense and prosecution will question 40 potential jurors today to determine if they are fit to hear the case, in which Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with explosives hidden in his underwear on Christmas Day 2009.

Of the 240 individuals who filled out jury questionnaires, roughly 132 remain in the pool. The goal is to whittle the number down to 16, which will include 12 jurors and four alternates.

Abdulmutallab is representing himself, although it has not yet been determined whether he will question the jurors himself, or let his standby attorney Anthony Chambers do it. The process, known in legal terms as “voir dire,” allows both sides to weed out jurors whom they believe are biased or unfit to hear the case.

Opening statements are scheduled for Oct. 11.

During the course of the trial, which is expected to last four weeks, jurors will get to see a replica of the bomb the terror suspect allegedly used during his foiled bomb attempt. Jurors also will see a video demonstration of the bomb – a plastic bag filled with a powerful explosive – being detonated.

Abdulmutallab had tried to keep the video out, arguing in court: "It's very speculative to say this is what could have happened."

But U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds allowed the bomb demonstration to be shown at trial. Prosecutors have argued that the video will help show how destructive the bomb really was and refute the defense's claims that the bomb couldn't have blown up an airplane.

Jurors will also see a martyrdom video recorded by Abdulmutallab before the attack, and an al-Qaeda-produced video in which al-Qaeda officials talk about how the defendant was able to slip past airport security.

But Edmunds denied a request to let jurors see a video clip of Osama bin Laden praising Abdulmutallab. The video also featured a photo of bin Laden superimposed over a picture of a commercial jetliner. Edmunds concluded the video wasn’t necessary and could be prejudicial.

~~~~(Related Sept 23rd Detroit Free Press article)~~~~
http://www.freep.com/article/20110923/NEWS01/109230412/Underwear-bombing-trial-may-include-demonstration-plot

Underwear bombing trial may include demonstration of plot
BY TRESA BALDAS

If prosecutors get their way, the jury in the trial against the underwear-bombing suspect will see a replica of the bomb authorities say he hid in his briefs and will watch a re-enactment of the foiled plot to blow up an airplane.

In court documents filed Thursday, federal prosecutors asked a judge to allow them to admit as evidence a demonstration designed to show how the bomb worked. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25, 2009, with a bomb hidden in his underwear.

"Abdulmutallab's bomb was essentially a plastic bag containing PETN, a highly explosive" device, wrote prosecutors, who want to show how PETN explodes in a plastic bag.

Prosecutors filed their request as both sides prepare to pick a jury Oct. 4 in the highly-anticipated terrorism trial. Opening statements are scheduled for Oct. 11.

Abdulmutallab is representing himself but has a standby lawyer to assist at trial -- prominent defense attorney Anthony Chambers.

In another request filed Thursday, prosecutors want to admit as evidence a clip from the al-Qaida-produced video "America and the Final Trap."

In it, various al-Qaida officials, including Osama bin Laden, talk about and praise Abdulmutallab, records show. The video also includes an excerpt of the martyrdom video recorded by Abdulmutallab prior to his foiled mission, records show.

Prosecutors also want to prohibit the defense from asking an FBI agent in front of the jury whether he read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights before questioning him. The agent did not, but U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled last week that Miranda rights weren't required in this case.

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Detroit TV "clickondetroit.com"
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http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/29383335/detail.html
Underwear Bomb Suspect Starts Trial With Outburst Oct 4, 2011

What a plot!

*Anwar al-Awlaki, who is allegedly tied to the Underwear bomber, is suddenly assassinated just DAYS before jury selection for this signature case of post-9/11 terrorism - the 'Christmas Day' bomber.

*Just like Zacharias Moussauuai, Abdulmutallab will be representing himself and declining a court-appointed attorney.

*Both Osama bin Laden and Al-Awlaki are killed - not captured. Taken on faith with no proof.

*No trial for KSM, the other accused mastermind of 9/11, either in a civilian trial OR a military tribunal.

*Both the '20th Hijacker' and the 'Underwear Bomber' represent themselves in court.

Who gave Adulmutallab the bomb? Who convinced (coerced?) him into not having a lawyer?
Who ordered Al-Awlaki to be killed right before the trial? BTW, this is an impeachable offense according to Ron Paul and others.
http://www.abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/ron-paul-says-obama-has-committed-an-impeachable-offense

Thanks TomT for keeping us up-to-date about this important story!