Defendants in two terrorism trials which started this week disrupted proceedings with empty gestures of defiance.
In Minneapolis, one of two women charged with raising money for the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab refused to stand for the presiding judge. Regardless of how her trial ends, Amina Farah Ali will serve 50 days in jail for contempt.
Ali and co-defendant Hawo Mohamed Hassan allegedly went door- to- door in Somali communities in Rochester, Minn. and elsewhere soliciting money for refugees. But, prosecutors say, the donations were routed instead to support "the jihad."
Ali told the court her religious views led her to believe standing as the judge entered the courtroom was wrong.
"I was told that there's a freedom of religion in this country," she said. "I don't think I should be punished or inconvenienced in any way for practicing my religion."
Meanwhile in Detroit, the man accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with explosives sewn into his underwear on Christmas Day 2009, hailed slain al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and called America a "cancer" Tuesday.
"Anwar is alive," Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab said before jury selection began. He also said that "the mujahideen [holy warriors] will wipe out the U.S. — the cancer U.S."
He is acting as his own attorney in the case.