Abdulmutallab had attempted to blow up an US airliner last year by hiding explosives in his underwear [ABC News]

The Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a US airliner with explosives hidden in his underwear last December has waived his right to a speedy trial in the US.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who last month had asked how he could plead guilty to some of the six counts he was charged with, said little during the brief hearing in federal court on Thursday and agreed to give up his right to have a trial quickly.

"It's no problem," he told Nancy Edmunds, the federal judge, when she asked if he would waive that right, a common practice in major criminal trials.

She also asked if he had anything else to raise with the court during the pre-trial conference, to which Abdulmutallab said, "No".

In September, Abdulmutallab fired his court-appointed lawyers and raised the possibility of pleading guilty to some charges.

Attempted murder

He was indicted in January on six counts, including trying to blow up the plane and attempted murder.

He could face life in prison if convicted. Edmunds scheduled another hearing for January 12.

Abdulmutallab, originally from Nigeria, boarded a Northwest Airlines jumbo jet flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day and near the end of the trip tried to ignite a bomb sewn into his underwear, prosecutors have said.

The explosives failed to fully detonate and he was subdued by the passengers and crew.

He had been co-operating with US investigators for several months and told them that he received the device and training from al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen, US officials have said.

Source: Agencies