‘Lonely’ terrorist behind 1993 World Trade Center bombing files lawsuit to get out of solitary confinement
DailyMail: The convicted terrorist who planned and carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – who has been in isolation for more than a decade – has filed a lawsuit to end his solitary confinement.
Ramzi Yousef, 45, has been imprisoned since his capture in Pakistan in 1995 – two years after he killed six people and injured 1,000 others after detonating explosives beneath the North Tower.
Since the September 11 attacks, the 45-year-old Pakistani national has been in solitary confinement in a 7-foot-by-11-foot cell at the federal ADX supermax prison in Colorado, known as ‘the Alcatraz of the Rockies.’
Yousef says that despite good behavior while behind bars, he remains in solitary solely because he is a terrorist – which he claims is a violation of his due process rights. In a letter to the prison’s warden obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Yousef says: ‘I request an immediate end to my solitary confinement and ask to be in a unit in an open prison environment where inmates are allowed outside their cells for no less than 14 hours a day.’
‘I have been in solitary confinement in the U.S. since February 8, 1995, with no end in sight… I further ask not to be in handcuffs or leg irons when moved outside my cell.’ The Times reports that Yousef doesn’t even see the prison’s guards, who push his meals through a small slot between two steel doors. The only other inmate within the sound of his voice is reportedly a man who has killed others while incarcerated.
In August, Yousef’s attorney Bernard Kleinman said his client wanted out of solitary because he was ‘lonely’ – and claimed that despite the World Trade Center attack, the 1994 bombing of a Philippine jet, a plot to kill Pope John Paul II and other plots – Yousef is ‘no longer a threat.’
‘I think it’s just plain unfair,’ Kleinman said outside court at the time. ‘Most of the terrorists he knew are either dead or in jail.’ Yousef was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in the World Trade Center attack, as well as a plot to bomb 12 American airliners over the Far East.
At his 1998 sentencing, Yousef defiantly proclaimed: ‘Yes, I am a terrorist and am proud of it.‘ His uncle is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the September 11 terror atrocities that destroyed the World Trade Center towers and left nearly 3,000 people dead.
He fled to the Middle East the night of the bombing and was captured two years later in Pakistan, where he was turned over to the FBI. He now lives in a 7-foot by 11-foot cell with a radio, a television, a desk, a toilet and a shower, Kleinman said.
Since 1997, he has been subjected to special administrative measures reserved for prisoners who are believed to be a continuing threat to the country. The restrictions prevent Yousef from communicating with other prisoners and only allow him to meet with his lawyer, Kleinman said. For those visits, Yousef is shackled and forced to communicate through Plexiglass.
As far as I’m concerned, we’ve spent too much tax payer dollars on this murderer. He can rot in solitary confinement for all I care.