Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the infamous Nigerian “underwear bomber” who nearly killed 289 people on an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on December 25, 2009, has filed a lawsuit over his alleged maltreatment in prison.
Abdulmutallab was convicted in 2012 for an attempted terror attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, which involved detonating explosives in his pants.
He was sentenced to four life terms plus 50 years without parole and incarcerated at ADX Florence, the supermax federal prison in Colorado, United States.
However, in a suit filed in a Colorado federal court on Wednesday, the 30-year-old said authorities in the prison were violating his constitutional rights by not allowing him to communicate with the outside world or practise his religion as a Muslim.
The suit was filed against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, citing violations of his First, Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights.
Abdulmutallab’s lawyer, Gail Johnson, claimed his client’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act were being violated.
The “underwear bomber” complained of being held in long-term solitary confinement under Special Administrative Measures.
The suit read, “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 also alleged that the SAMs “severely restrict Abdulmutallab’s ability to practise religion as he is unable to participate in group prayers alongside fellow Muslims within the facility.”
Furthermore, the lawsuit accused staff members at the Colorado prison facility of repeatedly force-feeding Abdulmutallab during a hunger strike, using “excessively and unnecessarily painful” methods.
It alleged that white supremacist inmates were also permitted to harass him during prayer times.
“Prisoners retain fundamental constitutional rights to communicate with others and have family relationships free from undue interference by the government,” said Johnson.
“The restrictions imposed on our client are excessive and unnecessary, and therefore, we seek the intervention of the federal court.”