Steven Raphael and Andrew M. Harris
January 8, 2010

[efoods]Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man accused of trying to destroy a Northwest Airlines plane carrying 290 people on Christmas Day, pleaded not guilty to U.S. criminal charges.

The 23-year-old Nigerian entered his plea today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Randon in Detroit. As the flight approached the city’s airport, Abdulmutallab ignited his pants leg and a wall of the plane while trying to detonate a mixture of explosives he smuggled aboard, according to prosecutors.

In a hearing that took less than five minutes, Abdulmutallab, wearing a white T-shirt, beige pants and black- and-white shoes, told the judge he understood the charges against him.

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