US Muslim: I was tortured at FBI's behest in UAE
A Muslim American seeking asylum in Sweden claimed Wednesday he was detained at the U.S. government's request while in the United Arab Emirates last summer, tortured in custody and interrogated about the activities of a Portland, Oregon, mosque.
Yonas Fikre told a news conference Wednesday that he was held for 106 days and was beaten, threatened with death and kept in solitary confinement in a frigid cell.
The 33-year-old, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Eritrea, says he had attended the same mosque in Portland as a man who has been charged in a plot to detonate a bomb in the northwestern U.S. city. He moved to Sudan in 2009 and later to the United Arab Emirates. He went to Sweden, where he has relatives, after being released from detention on Sept. 15.
Fikre, who converted to Islam in 2003, is the third Muslim man from Portland to publicly say he was detained while traveling abroad and questioned about Portland's Masjid-as-Sabr mosque. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a Somali American who is awaiting trial on a charge of plotting to set off a bomb in downtown Portland in November 2010, occasionally worshipped there.
A decade ago, seven Muslims with ties to the mosque were arrested following a failed effort to enter Afghanistan and fight U.S. forces.
|Back when he was 19, the FBI helped him get the supplies he needed to make a bomb to blow up the Christmas tree lighting. They arrested him moments after his cell phone failed to set the thing off. |
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