2009 Christmas Day Bomber, involving my son is the most trying moment of my life, - Jaiz Bank Chairman

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Billionaire Nigerian businessman and banker, Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, has described the 2009 bombing incident involving Farouk, his son as the most trying moment of his life.

Farouk Abdulmutallab is presently serving a life sentence without parole for attempting to bomb US-bound flight passengers on Christmas Day 2009.

The former engineering student of University College, London, had pleaded guilty to eight counts against him, including terrorism and attempted murder for attempting to blow up a commercial plane as a would-be suicide mission for al-Qaeda.

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The bomb sewn into Farouk’s underwear that would have blown up the plane failed to detonate fully when he tried to activate it, thus saving the lives of the almost 300 people on the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a militant group based in Yemen, said it was behind the attempted attack.

The Abdulmutallab family had in a statement after the ruling appealed for review of the statement.

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“We strongly appeal to the American justice department to review the life sentence,” they said. “We also appeal to the Federal Republic of Nigeria to continue with their support and engage with the American government to ensure that a review is made.”

But in an interview with Daily Trust newspaper conducted to mark his 80th birthday, Alhaji Mutallab seemed to have resigned to fate on his son, concluding that, “he may not be out again to see us.”

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“I would say the Mallam Farouk incident was the most trying time of my life,” he said in response to a question.

“I continue to pray for him. We visit him and he calls a couple of times. We cannot call him but he can call us. We know he is going through a very difficult time, so we pray for mercy on his behalf.

“We may one day see him after our lives because he was sentenced to three life term plus some years without parole… (long silence) He might not be out again to see us. So maybe we will see in the afterlife.

“He prays for us and we pray for him. This is how we are dealing with the situation. Allah knows best.”

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The businessman who pioneered interest free banking in the country with the establishment of Sharia compliant Jaiz Bank, however said he never believed that his son was the one involved in the bombing incident until two days after the news broke: “I thought someone stole his passport and tried to do that. But I discovered two days later that he was the one

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