UnderwearBomber

The “underwear bomber,” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was convicted of trying to blow up a jetliner traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas in 2009 and kill the 289 people aboard, has sued the United States, claiming he deserves to have access to communicate with the world’s roughly 7.5 billion people.

His complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado states that before transferring him to long-term solitary confinement at ADX, the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, the U.S. government, through its attorney general, placed him under Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs, that “prohibit him from having any communication whatsoever with more than 7.5 billion people, the vast majority of people on the planet.”

The case names as defendants Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the federal Bureau of Prisons and a long list of unidentified individuals.

It complains constitutional rights protected under the First, Fifth and Eight Amendments for Abdulmutallab, a citizen of Nigeria, are being violated.

He confessed to attempting to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear and is serving four life terms, plus 50 years.

The ADX in Florence is the highest security prison operated by the federal government.

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Abdulmutallab’s complaint protests that he could be in “indefinite, long-term solitary … possibly for decades.

Other inmates at ADX, he said, are “allowed to communicate with any persons they wish, with very few exceptions.”

“Apart from attorney-client communications, such communications to and from ADX inmates are subject to monitoring by the BOP and other federal law-enforcement officials.”

But he is even prohibited from communicating with his “thirteen nieces and nephews.”

“Neither when the SAMs were first imposed on Mr. Abdulmutallab, nor at any time thereafter, has there been evidence that Mr. Abdulmutallab’s communications pose such a substantial risk,” the complaint argues.

Further, he’s a Muslim and is not allowed to be in a “prayer group.” And the prison doesn’t have an imam on staff, he says.

He also complains he is being deprived of a halal diet, and other inmates and even guards “harass” him.

“This harassment has rendered it extremely difficult for Mr. Abdulmutallab to manage the difficulties of the harsh conditions of solitary confinement by taking solace in his religion and religious practices,” the lawsuit alleges.

His hunger strikes to protest the special restrictions have resulted in “force-feeding,” a move the lawsuit likens to waterboarding.

He wants a court order removing the restrictions, allowing “daily congregational prayers,” regular access to an imam and a halal diet.

He also demands to be removed from solitary.

After one security search of his cell, he noted, “Mr. Abdulmutallab saw that his prayer rug, which he had left neatly folded, was crumpled and lying in a different location, as if it had been kicked around.”

He also complains there is a blanket rule prohibiting him from communicating with the media.

Abdulmutallah’s filing warns that prolonged solitary can result in “persistent and heightened state of anxiety and nervousness, headaches, insomnia, lethargy or chronic fatigue … nightmares, heart palpitations, and fear of impending nervous breakdowns … obsessive ruminations, confused thought processes, oversensitivity to stimuli, irrational anger, social withdrawal, hallucinations, violent fantasies, emotional flatness, mood swings, chronic depression, feelings of overall deterioration, and suicidal ideation.”

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