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Force-Feeding the Shoe Bomber

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Richard Reid, the Briton whose plot to blow up a commercial airliner using a shoe bomb was foiled, hasn’t been enjoying his stay in the federal Supermax prison in Florence. For several weeks now, he’s refused food, possibly in protest of the restrictions that prohibit his ability to exercise his faith as a Muslim. According to the BBC, Reid, 35 and serving three life sentences, is being force-fed, although no one is able to confirm whether Reid’s hunger strike is connected to his 2007 lawsuit alleging that authorities are squelching his religious freedom. Nobody will say whether authorities are caving in, either, as the restrictions will be lifted later this month, reports The Associated Press. In his 2007 legal complaint, Reid says the restrictions prevent him from participating in group prayers and limit his access to religious figures, recreation, and journalists. Supermax, which houses the likes of September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, can impose restrictions if they are believed to reduce violence or terrorism. If you’re foggy on the Reid story, check out this Time article from 2002: Reid tried to ignite a fuse protruding from his shoe to blow a hole through the aircraft’s fuselage.

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