Christmas plane attack case will test defense

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DETROIT (AP) — A young Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a packed U.S. jetliner is going to court in Detroit for the first time since his alleged attack on Christmas Day.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO-mahr fah-ROOK ahb-DOOL-moo-TAH-lahb) will be arraigned Friday in federal court. With so much evidence stacked against him, experts say his defense team is left with few options as the case moves forward.

Attorneys outside the case say the 23-year-old’s lawyers can challenge incriminating statements to the FBI, seek a mental-health exam for Abdulmutallab — and seriously consider a plea deal.

A grand jury indicted Abdulmutallab on six charges, including the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. It carries up to life in prison.