Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nairobi Embassy Bomber: USG is Violating My Civil Rights

As noted by Diplopundit, among others, today is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist bombings at the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. One of the persons responsible for delivering the truck bomb to the Nairobi embassy, Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali, escaped from the scene but was later arrested by U.S. authorities and is currently serving a life sentence in the super-maximum security Federal Prison in Florence, Colorado.

According to The Smoking Gun, Al-Owhali is not completely comfortable in his super-max cell. He has already filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Denver, charging that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons violated his civil rights when they took away his Walkman. Now, he's added a new charge that prison authorities are putting his health at risk by running his food trays through an X-ray machine.

AUGUST 4--An Osama bin Laden disciple serving life in the United States's only "supermax" federal prison believes that jailers are putting his health in jeopardy by X-raying all his food trays and commissary items in search of contraband items. Convicted terrorist Mohamed Al-Owhali alleges that the Bureau of Prisons security measure unreasonably increases his "daily exposure to potentially carcinogenic radiation," which the al-Qaeda operative claims violates Eighth Amendment prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. The 31-year-old Al-Owhali, who is being held at the "supermax" lockup in Florence, Colorado, was convicted of conspiring to bomb a U.S. embassy in Africa, an attack which resulted in more than 200 deaths.

As TSG reported last year, Al-Owhali is not pleased with the severe restrictions at Florence, where he is housed in the Special Security Unit, home to a virtual Terrorists Row of inmates. He filed a pro se lawsuit alleging a laundry list of rights violations, including the denial of his beloved Walkman and certain English and Arabic publications. Al-Owhali began complaining about the "health consequences" of his irradiated grub earlier this year, and filed the below handwritten administrative appeal with BoP officials.

His request that the X-raying be stopped was rejected by prison brass. So Al-Owhali, now aided by a California lawyer, has recently added the X-ray claim to his original civil rights complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver. The court filing claims that Al-Owhali faces a "significant risk" of developing "serious and irreversible health problems" by consuming a diet "based entirely on irradiated foods." Government lawyers last week filed a motion to dismiss Al-Owhali's lawsuit, asserting that the X-rayed food posed no health threat and that the stringent Florence security measures were warranted in light of his terrorist history.

I suppose it's too late now to impose the death penalty on this guy. But can't the Bureau of Prisons at least take him on the Coney Island Waterboard Thrill Ride until his attitude improves?

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