DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Nigerian man who pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner using a bomb in his underwear wants a new legal adviser, preferably a Muslim.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has asked a Detroit federal judge to dismiss his standby counsel, Anthony Chambers. Abdulmutallab said their relationship is strained.

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The 24-year-old has been acting as his own lawyer, but Chambers was appointed to assist him.

Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty in October to attempting to bring down a Christmas 2009 Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight with 290 people aboard.

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U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said there is no deal in place for Abdulmutallab who surprised pretty much everyone in October when he changed his plea to guilty.

Talking to The Detroit News, Chambers said Abdulmutallab is a “misguided young man with a distorted sense of reality.” He denies misleading his client. A hearing to discusses the standby counsel issue is scheduled for  January 6.

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Abdulmutallab faces a life in prison when he is sentenced on January 19.