Underwear Bomber Likens Treatment to 'Being Drowned'

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is suing over treatment in Supermax
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2017 7:32 AM CDT
Underwear Bomber Likens Treatment to 'Waterboarding'
This December 2009 photo shows Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshals Service, File)

The Nigerian man who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound jet with an underwear bomb is suing the US Justice Department, claiming he's been force-fed, punished for being Muslim, and held in solitary confinement inside Colorado's Supermax prison, all in violation of his constitutional rights. Upon his arrival in 2012, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab says he was immediately placed in solitary confinement and subjected to special administrative measures (SAMs) that limited his contact with family members. Though he was finally able to speak to his sister last year, Abdulmutallab says he's been unable to properly practice his religion. The lawsuit notes guards "defiled" his Quran and prayer rug and showed him porn magazines during his prayers, which were also interrupted by vocal attacks from "white supremacist" inmates, per the New York Times.

Without an imam or halal food, Abdulmutallab says he began hunger strikes in protest only to have guards respond with force-feedings that were "excessively and unnecessarily painful, abusive, dangerous, and degrading," per the Denver Channel. In one case, officers using a feeding tube transfered a nutritional supplement into Abdulmutallab's windpipe rather than his esophagus, resulting in "Abdulmutallab feeling like he was being drowned in a manner akin to waterboarding," according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday, which names the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Abdulmutallab's lawyer says he hopes to have his client's constitutional rights restored and the SAMs lifted as Abdulmutallab's communications pose no risk of death or injury to others. (More on his 2009 plot here.)

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