- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2002

Living under tight restrictions in an Alexandria jail, former Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh still can use a StairMaster exerciser. And accused September 11 accomplice Zacarias Moussaoui soon may get the computer he wants to read legal documents.
Both have copies of the Koran but may not participate in group prayers.
Lindh, 21, and Moussaoui, 33, are in near-total isolation in a 15-year-old jail a few miles from the scene of the Pentagon attack. Like the narrow openings in their cells that pass as windows to the outside, each man is allowed only the smallest slice of normal life.
They are confined to their cells 22 hours a day without a radio, television or music. Even when taken for a shower or to the gym where Lindh prefers the StairMaster they do not make contact with other prisoners. Officials say the danger of passing messages is too high.
The cells have no desks or chairs. They also have no iron bars, just doors with a small window and a food slot. When Lindh said his cell was cold, officials gave him long johns to wear under his green prison jumpsuit.
Capt. Dave Rocco, the jail's spokesman, said Lindh has not violated any rules, and that Moussaoui has had only minor violations.
He did not describe them, but prosecutors said in court papers that Moussaoui, a French citizen, kept food in his cell until it hardened, considered a health hazard. Moussaoui's violation was costly: Prosecutors said it will keep him for now in the small high-security cell he wants to trade for larger quarters.
Daily life for Lindh and Moussaoui can be pieced together from sources familiar with their confinement, from Capt. Rocco's comments and from court filings in Moussaoui's bid to ease his restrictions.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema scheduled a hearing today on Moussaoui's contention that he is too isolated and has too little workspace to assist in his defense.
Moussaoui has demanded a full computer workstation in a larger cell, including a laptop, a printer, a table and storage space for 1,400 CD-ROMs with legal documents.
The government has offered, on an experimental basis, a computer in a secure room outside the cell. He would have to use a mouse to scroll through documents because the government contends a keyboard could be used as a weapon.
Both men can have visits from immediate family, conversing on a telephone through a glass partition. Lindh's parents have been regular visitors. Moussaoui, whose mother lives in France, has made no personal visits, Capt. Rocco said.
Both their cells have fluorescent overhead lights one brighter than the other so officials can monitor the inmates. After Moussaoui complained that the bright light stayed on 24 hours a day so he could be observed at a video monitoring station, the government agreed to turn it off at night.
Lindh has lodged no public complaints about prison conditions with the judge overseeing his case.
Guards check on both men about every 15 minutes by peering through the window in their doors.
Each man is confined under "special administrative measures," government rules that apply to a single prisoner. Prosecutors said they were worried about escapes, attacks on guards and coded messages to terrorists outside prison all known al Qaeda tactics. The indictments of Lindh and Moussaoui contend both were associated with Osama bin Laden's network.
Moussaoui is charged as an accomplice in the September 11 attacks and faces the death penalty. Lindh is accused of conspiring to kill Americans and aiding terrorist networks.
Only the special regulations for Moussaoui have been made public so far.
Those rules require a prison staff member to initiate all calls to his attorney and confirm the attorney's identity before giving Moussaoui the telephone. Phone calls to immediate family members are monitored and recorded.
Moussaoui's personal mail is copied and analyzed, and could be seized if it is found to contain secret messages, encourage acts of terrorism or circumvent jail rules.
Any imam, or Muslim prayer leader, who visits must be approved by the government and cannot have physical contact with the prisoner.
Prisoners get three meals a day. Muslims need not worry about prohibited pork; it's never on the menu.
Moussaoui and Lindh's sleeping pads rest on a concrete slab extending from the wall. There is a stainless steel toilet and sink and a ledge for writing.
Each man can have five books at a time, and reading material is brought to their cells.
One thing Moussaoui and Lindh can do is sleep late. Capt. Rocco said there's no wake-up call.


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