Obama Books Banned for Jailed Terrorist

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 8:04 AM CDT
Officials at Colorado's Supermax prison decided "Dreams From My Father" contained information too sensitive for an imprisoned terrorist to read.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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(Newser) – Prison officials refused to let an al-Qaeda terrorist serving 30 years in Supermax, a prison in Colorado, read Barack Obama's books, the Daily Telegraph reports. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, an American citizen convicted of conspiring to, among other things, assassinate then–President George W. Bush, was told that the books contained information that could jeopardize national security if they were read by prisoners.

Officials singled out a page in the autobiographical Dreams from My Father and 22 in the policy-oriented The Audacity of Hope as containing sensitive information. Ali went on hunger strike over the rejections and the prison's policy on family visits. A prison review concluded that the books were okay for inmates to read after all. "Any inmate there that wanted these, has them," an official now says.