Suspects in terrorist plots go on hunger strike in protest Prison accused of snubbing Muslims

August 29, 1993|By Newsday

NEW YORK -- Fourteen of the 15 suspects charged with bombing the World Trade Center and conspiring to launch a wave of terror attacks in New York City have gone on a hunger strike protesting conditions inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

The suspects are being held at the center on charges that they were involved with the trade center bombing in February, which killed six people and injured 1,000 others. They also allegedly plotted to bomb the United Nations and other structures.

"They are protesting the bad conditions in the prison," said M. T.Mehdi, president of the National Council on Islamic Affairs. "They are not given the proper food or the proper time for prayer."

Mr. Mehdi is an adviser to Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a fundamentalist Muslim cleric who authorities allege was the center of the plot. Mr. Mehdi said the hunger strike started Friday and did not include Sheik Abdel-Rahman.

Mr. Mehdi said the 14 suspects being held at the correctional center were protesting the lack of food prepared to Muslim dietary requirements and their inability to pray collectively in accordance with Islamic law.

L Mr. Mehdi said the suspects are refusing all food and drink.

"Our people are more stubborn than others," Mr. Mehdi said.

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