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ACLU Sues al-Qaeda Over Xmas Day Bombing

DETROIT -- The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights announced today they have filed a civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against al-Qaeda for the in-flight bombing attempt on Christmas Day on Northwest Airlines flight 253 as a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause.

"The real question is not whether people can celebrate Christmas -- they most certainly can," said Clinton Svinktaogle, local Director of the Tri-State Chapter of the ACLU, "but whether the government should be promoting religious beliefs and practices through displays and demonstrations -- it most certainly shouldn't."

Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly concealed the dangerous explosive PETN in his underwear in an unsuccessful attempt to blow a hole in the side of his Detroit-bound aircraft on December 25th.

In a statement, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, asserted responsibility for the attempt to destroy the Northwest Airlines jet, saying it was a response to U.S.-backed airstrikes against the group in Yemen.

The suit also names as defendants the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Safety Administration, the FAA, Northwest Airlines, the Wayne County Airport Authority, Hanes, and as-yet-unidentified air marshals and air traffic controllers who will be named later. It alleges the defendants repeatedly violated the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

"The ACLU takes seriously its commitment to defending the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by not only working to ensure that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion," said Svinktaogle, but, just as importantly, by helping to guarantee that there be no prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Earlier reports that Abdulmutallab purchased his explosive undergarments at Victoria Secret were later proven to be unfounded.



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