By Anders Hagstrom, DCNF
The Infamous “Underwear Bomber” filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice Friday alleging that his treatment in a Colorado supermax prison has violated his constitutional rights.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 30, has been known as the “Underwear Bomber” since Christmas Day 2009 when he attempted to blow up a plane headed from Amsterdam to Detroit with an explosive device sewed to his underwear. In court, he described the attempted attack as his “religious duty” as a Muslim. Abdulmutallab is now suing the DOJ on the claim that his detainment prevents him from practicing his Muslim faith, Reuters reported Friday.
Abdulmutallab is detained Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) that mandate long-term solitary confinement, a requirement which the lawsuit claims, “severely restricts his ability to practice his religion.”
“The SAMs imposed on Mr. Abdulmutallab prohibit him from having any communication whatsoever with more than 7.5 billion people, the vast majority of people on the planet,” the complaint reads.
In addition to other Muslim inmates allegedly facing harassment from “white supremacists” in prison, the complain claims that the prison’s lack of an Imam on staff or on call is also a violation of his rights.
“Prisoners retain fundamental constitutional rights to communicate with others and have family relationships free from undue interference by the government,” said Gail Johnson, his attorney, in a statement to the New York Times. “The restrictions imposed on our client are excessive and unnecessary, and therefore we seek the intervention of the federal court.”
The Northwest Airlines flight he tried to bomb had 289 passengers on board. His explosive device failed, however, and he was only able to start a fire on the plane before passengers subdued him.
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