The Washington Post is reporting that a 19-year-old U.S. citizen from Alexandria, Va., who has been detained in Kuwait since December, was turned away from a flight back to the United States on Sunday. Gulet Mohamed was allegedly detained because his name appeared on a no-fly list because of travel between Somalia and Yemen.
Mohamed moved with his family from Somalia to the United States when he was a toddler. He was detained last month at an airport in Kuwait when he went there to renew his visa, said his lawyer, Gadeir Abbas, who is a staff attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Abbas and Mohamed's family said that after his detainment, Kuwaiti authorities proposed that a ticket be bought for Mohamed, which led them to think that he would be permitted to board a Washington-bound flight. When he attempted to board the flight, he was turned away again because he was still on the no-fly list.
According to Abbas, Mohamed said that while detained, he was tortured by security agents who questioned him about his travels in Yemen and Somalia, and if he knew an American-born Yemen cleric who had been described as a propagandist for an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen. Mohamed's sister says he went to Yemen to learn Arabic and then to Somalia to stay with relatives. He then went to Kuwait to work for his uncle. His visa had been approved twice before this incident. Abbas plans to file suit today and says that he will prove that the United States is behind Mohamed's detention.
Imagine going to study abroad and visit relatives, and then being detained and tortured without warning? Do they think he's a terrorist, or are they trying to turn him into one? We say let the U.S. citizen come back to the States and sort this out. Obviously Mohamed's not getting on the plane with anything that can cause harm, the way authorities are profiling this brother. As the rapper Mos Def puts it, when traveling as a black man, you go overseas and get "over seized." We couldn't agree more.
Read more at the Washington Post.
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