Sympathy for the Terrorist

Published September 7, 2012

The terrorist who masterminded the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center is suing prison officials for keeping him in solitary confinement, where he’s lonely and misses human companionship.

Ramzi Yousef, 44, is in a maximum security prison in Colorado called the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” He’s serving a sentence of life plus 240 years.

Before September 11, 2001, Yousef was in a cellblock with Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Oklahoma bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. After the attack, he was moved to a cell block where he has been in solitary confinement in a 7-by-11-foot cell. Six or seven other cells are unoccupied.

His cell has a toilet, a shower, a radio, a television, and a desk. He eats there and leaves only for an hour of recreation each day.

“Solitary confinement is a really tough thing to take,” his lawyer said following a hearing before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on a case he brought to soften his prison conditions. “Human interaction is a big issue.”

“Yes, I am a terrorist and am proud of it,” Yousef said at his sentencing hearing in 1998. Six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Source: Robert Gearty, “Bomber’s plea: Man behind ’93 WTC attack wants prison rules eased,” New York Daily News, August 22, 2012