By Matt Smith
The convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing wants nearly two decades of communication restrictions lifted, arguing he's no longer a threat to national security, his lawyer said Sunday.
Ramzi Yousef has been locked away in solitary confinement at the federal "Supermax" prison in Florence, Colorado, since 1998. A 15-page list of rules sets limits on his contact with relatives, lawyers and other inmates. He can read books and watch television, but newspapers and magazines are censored to keep him from receiving messages planted in classified ads or letters to the editor.
Now 44, Yousef "no longer should be considered a national security threat," his lawyer, Bernard Kleinman, told CNN. "If the government feels that he is, they should provide some reasonable basis that they can corroborate as to why he is a continuing national security threat."
U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy, who sentenced Yousef to life plus 20 years, called him "a virus that must be locked away." He was arrested in 1996 in a plot to bomb U.S. airliners in Asia, and he's the nephew of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed – the accused mastermind of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people and brought down the World Trade Center.