DETROIT (WJBK) - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man accused of trying to blow up an airplane over metro Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, appeared in federal court Tuesday. A trial date has now been set.
However, it was actually more interesting to hear from a couple of the passengers that showed up at court. They had an interesting theory about what really happened.
"The U.S. government escorted them through security without a passport and, we believe, gave him an intentionally defective bomb," said Kurt Haskell.
It's a startling allegation from two local attorneys that were on-board the 2009 Christmas Day flight to Detroit when Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to blow up a bomb hidden in his underwear.
Kurt and Lori Haskell think the U.S. government was behind the whole thing.
"It was intentional that it went this far to further the war on terror, to get body scanners in the airports, to increase the TSA's budget, to renew the Patriot Act and whatever other reasons you want to list," Kurt Haskell told FOX 2.
The Haskells say in Amsterdam before boarding the flight to Detroit, they witnessed Abdulmutallab arguing with a ticket agent at the gate because he didn't have a passport when a man in a tan suit with an American accent intervened.
"The ticket agent did not want to allow Abdulmutallab on the flight and this man was very insistent of it, and then she referred them to a manager down the hallway," said Kurt Haskell.
They next saw Abdulmutallab on-board the plane when they saw fire and people screaming.
An FBI spokesperson told FOX 2 all passengers on-board the flight were interviewed and the information thoroughly vetted, but they can't comment any further.
Abdulmutallab has insisted on representing himself in the case. The trial date has now been set for October 4 and could include up to 400 witnesses.
"It's a very serious case," said Anthony Chambers, Abdulmutallab's stand-by attorney. "(There's) a lot of evidence that has to be reviewed and a lot of witnesses which must be interviewed in order to properly prepare the case."
Although the judge has urged Abdulmutallab to have Chambers represent him, so far he has refused.
"I think that this (is) a case that we can help him with greatly. It's a very defensible case," Chambers said.