Judge orders OC man indicted for supporting ISIS to eat or be force-fed
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — A federal judge delivered a strong message on Thursday to a jail inmate indicted for supporting ISIS.
Muhanad Badawi, 24, was hauled into court after losing too much weight behind bars. When Badawi was arrested in May, he weighed about 140 pounds. Officials said on Thursday he weighed about 110 pounds.
As Badawi made his way into the courtroom his mother cried after seeing his thinness.
Badawi, of Anaheim, was indicted along with 24-year-old Nader Elhuzayel, also of Anaheim, on bank fraud and conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group.
Officials said Badawi had conflicting stories of his weight loss, stating he was fasting on Mondays and Thursdays for religious reasons.
But officials said he would sometimes eat on Thursdays, but not on other days.
U.S District Judge David Carter pointed out to Badawi that if he was fasting for religious purposes for his Muslim faith, it would be on Fridays, the Sabbath.
Badawi also raised concerns about not wanting a female nurse because of religious reasons, but that’s not consistent with his legal team that includes a female attorney and a female paralegal who spend time with him alone.
Carter delivered a strong message to Badawi on Thursday in court.
“I hope you don’t put this court in a position between choosing between a religious value and a value of equality of sexes, because firmly I can tell you if I’m put in that position I will take the values of this country in terms of equality and gender and you’ll be treated by male or female,” Carter said.
Carter then told Badawi he is to eat voluntarily or he will order him to be force-fed.
He asked Badawi when he was going to eat again, and Badawi responded that he had been eating.
The judge then asked why Badawi was losing so much weight. Badawi stated he was not on a hunger strike.
Carter told Badawi the weight loss was ending on Thursday, then asked what Badawi’s favorite foods are.
Badawi stated he liked honey, peanut butter, tuna, bread and bananas.
Carter ordered someone to go to the store and fetch those items for Badawi.
He then told Badawi he had until morning to eat the food or he would order him to be force-fed.
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