A more sophisticated version of failed underwear bomb would've been used on U.S.-bound flight from Yemen.
One of the dead is believed to be the media chief.
Abulmutallab faces 30 years to life in prison.
The claims came during opening statements in the high-profile case.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab called the United States a "cancer" and insisted Anwar al-Awlaki is alive.
Abdulmutallab will be tried in federal court on terrorism charges