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‘Underwear bomber’ Abdulmutallab sues US govt for violating his rights


Umar Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States of America, has sued the US government over alleged breach of his rights to speech and religious beliefs.

Abdulmutallab, better known as ‘the underwear bomber’, attempted to detonate a bomb hidden in his underpants while aboard an aircraft travelling from Amsterdam to Detroit, USA, on Christmas Day 2009.

Following the failed suicide attack, Abdulmutallab, then 22, was overpowered by passengers on the plane and handed to security officials.

He was convicted of terrorism and sent to the United States Penitentiary-Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, where he will serve out his life sentence.

However, in a suit filed at a Colorado federal court on Wednesday, Abdulmutallab, now 30, said authorities in the prison do not allow him to communicate with the outside world or practice his religion as a Muslim.

Gail Johnson, counsel to Abdulmutallab, stated in the charge sheet that immediately his client arrived at the prison, he was placed in long-term solitary confinement and placed under special administrative measures (SAMs).

He was prevented from communicating with any member of his family until last year when he was allowed to talk to his sister.

“Prisoners retain fundamental constitutional rights to communicate with others and have family relationships free from undue interference by the government,” Johnsons aid 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.”

Before his failed suicide attempt, Abdulmutallab was said to have trained at an al Qaeda camp in Yemen under the direction of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric.

Abdulmutallab’s father, Umaru Abdul Mutallab, is a former Chairman of First Bank and former Minister of Economic Development under the military government of Murtala Mohammed.

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