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    'Underwear Bomber' Sues US Justice Department Over Rights Violation

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    Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian man serving life sentences for attempting to detonate a bomb on a plane on Christmas Day 2009 filed a lawsuit against the US Justice Department claiming he is being denied his free speech and religious rights.

    Abdulmutallab, 30, received multiple life sentences for trying to set off an explosive hidden in his underwear aboard a Northwest Flight 253 eight years ago, which he explained was part of his "religious duty" as a Muslim to wage jihad against the United States.

    Now the convicted bomber claims that authorities in the federal maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, are violating his constitutional rights by not allowing him to practice his religion and restricting his contact with the outside world because his solitary confinement was based on special administrative measures imposed on national security grounds.

    According to the court documents, Abdulmutallab accuses the facility staff of prohibiting him to talk to his nieces and nephews, as well as allowing white supremacist inmates to harass him during prayer times — curse, yell, scream, and verbally insult Muslims.

    ​He also claims the staff repeatedly force fed him using "excessively and unnecessarily painful" methods when, on several occasions, he engaged in a hunger strike to protest.

     "Prisoners retain fundamental constitutional rights to communicate with others and have family relationships free from undue interference by the government," Abdulmutallab attorney old the New York Times. "The restrictions imposed on our client are excessive and unnecessary, and therefore we seek the intervention of the federal court."

    According to the Justice Department, Abdulmutallab trained at an al Qaeda camp in Yemen under the direction of US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

    His bomb caused a fire on the Northwest Airlines flight, which had 289 people aboard, as it was approaching Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and he was subdued and restrained by passengers and flight crew.    

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