December 28, 2009 / 5:18 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Hearing canceled for Detroit plane bomb suspect

(Adds detail on cancellation, charges)

DETROIT, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The first federal court hearing for the Nigerian man charged with attempting to blow up a Delta Airlines plane flying to Detroit has been canceled, a spokeswoman for prosecutors said on Monday.

U.S. Attorneys had been expected to seek a search warrant to collect a swab of DNA from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is being held in a federal prison in Milan, Michigan.

The hearing before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman was canceled at the request of prosecutors, according to court documents.

“The hearing has been canceled,” said the U.S. Attorney’s spokeswoman Gina Balaya. “I was not given a reason for the cancellation.”

Abdulmutallab faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on a single federal charge that he attempted to blow up a crowded Airbus 330 as it approached a landing in Detroit from Amsterdam on Friday.

FBI agents have said the 23-year-old man was carrying a home-made bomb containing PETN, a highly explosive material contained in the plastic explosive Semtex.

Witnesses said Abdulmutallab attempted to set off the device under an blanket on his lap, causing popping sounds and a fire that was quickly extinguished by a flight attendant.

Bail for Abdulmutallab is scheduled to be set at a Jan. 8 hearing in Detroit. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Chris Wilson)

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