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'Underwear Bomber' Sues Government Over Prison Treatment

  • VOA News

FILE - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is shown in this booking photograph released by the U.S. Marshals Service, Dec. 28, 2009.

The man who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound flight in 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear is alleging his constitutional rights are being violated in a federal prison.

In a lawsuit filed last week in a Colorado federal court, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, also known as the "Underwear Bomber," claims he's being indefinitely housed in solitary confinement at the supermax prison, is being denied contact with family members, and is not being permitted to practice Islam.

He also alleges he was forced to eat non-halal food and that when he went on a hunger strike to protest his mistreatment, he was force fed.

Abdulmutallab is serving four life prison terms in Florence, Colorado, the highest-security prison in the country.

He tried to detonate a bomb on a flight carrying more than 300 people, but his plan was foiled when passengers and crew members stopped him, as the plane landed at Detroit Metro Airport. The incident caused burns to Abdulmutallab's genitals and legs.

He has said he tried to carry out the bombing in retaliation for the murder by the U.S. of innocent civilians in Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere.

According to the lawsuit, the U.S. government put Abdulmutallab under special administrative measures. They prohibit him from communicating with "more than 7.5 billion people, the vast majority of people on the planet."

The lawsuit names U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as 20 unidentified defendants.

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