Published: Oct 11, 2011 4:18 PM EDT

DETROIT (AP) - A federal prosecutor says a Nigerian charged with trying to blow up an international flight was on a terrorist mission to kill nearly 300 people and earn a place in heaven as a martyr.
    
Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb). The 24-year-old Nigerian is accused of wearing a bomb in his underwear aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas 2009.
    
The trial opened after a delay of more than 70 minutes while Abdulmutallab consulted with his attorney. There was no explanation in court.
    
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel began his opening statements by telling the jury that virtually everyone on the plane had holiday plans but Abdulmutallab wanted to kill them all.

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