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Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

The 'underwear bomber' is suing the Justice Department for alleged civil rights abuses

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Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, infamously known as the "Underwear Bomber," is suing the U.S. Justice Department for alleged civil rights abuses.

Abdulmutallab, a 30-year-old Nigerian, received several life sentences after he was caught trying to ignite explosives hidden in his underwear on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. He was subdued by passengers on the plane, and has since been serving his sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary-Administrative Maximum Security Facility in Florence, Colorado where he claimed the staff has violated his rights to practice his religion as a Muslim and communicate with the outside world.

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The failed terrorist claimed the guards at the facility used "excessively and unnecessarily painful" methods to force-feed him while he was in solitary confinement. He also said the Justice Department has unfairly restricted his communications with his nieces and nephews and that white supremacist inmates were allowed to harass him during prayers.

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

The Justice Department has claimed that Abdulmutallab trained at an al Qaeda camp in Yemen under the infamous terrorist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki. His unsuccessful bomb did not injure any passengers, though it did catch Abdulmutallab and the plane on fire.

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