DETROIT -- Alleged Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Adbulmutallab says he likes things the way they are: he wants to continue being his own lawyer.
At a pretrial hearing in federal court in Detroit on Thursday, Adbulmutallab told U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds that he is sticking to his decision to fire his government-appointed lawyer and defend himself on charges that he tried to use a weapon of mass destruction to blow up a Detroit-bound plane from Amsterdam on Christmas.
Abdulmutallab, 24, is accused of trying to set off explosives that were hidden in his underwear while he was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253, which was carrying 279 passengers and 11 crew members.
Abdulmutallab also told Edmunds that he preferred that his standby attorney, Detroit lawyer Anthony Chambers, not be given access to the discovery materials.
"I just don't see that it's necessary," a soft-spoken Abdulmutallab told Edmunds.
Edmunds, however, disagreed.
"I believe that it's necessary, so I'm overruling you on this," she said, noting that while she respects his decision to represent himself, "You don't have legal training in U.S. law."
Edmunds ordered the U.S. attorney's office to turn over its discovery materials to Chambers, who said that he would need them in order to help represent Abdulmutallab, and answer any questions that may come up.
Authorities have alleged that Abdulmutallab is an al-Qaeda operative trained in Yemen for the suicide mission, which was foiled when a passenger subdued Abdulmutallab.
Abdulmutallab will appear for another pretrial hearing on Jan. 12. Between now and then he will go over the government's discovery materials, and prepare his defense.
In September, Abdulmutallab suggested that he wanted to plead guilty to some charges, but said nothing about a plea in court Thursday.
Chambers declined comment after the hearing.
Abdulmutallab is being held at a federal prison in Milan.