An Islamic man, who was detained by U.S. agents without criminal charges being file and then was deported to Egypt, testified for a deposition in New York on Monday in a lawsuit against the U.S. government. He claims he was unlawfully imprisoned and abused.
That’s the story as reported by the mainstream news media. In fact, Mr. Ebrahim did commit a crime by staying in the United States illegally. His visa expired.
Yasser Ebrahim is one of several Muslim men who are being allowed to return to New York City to participate in the civil suit under strict conditions including confinement to their hotel rooms for the duration of their stay, in spite of continued suspicions that they are terrorist associates.
The men, whom U.S. counterterrorism agents were unable to break, claim they were subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment in a Brooklyn detention center, including beatings, solitary confinement, verbal abuse and a lack of access to their families and lawyers.
Ebrahim’s attorneys said the men will be deposed over the next two weeks in a class action suit against the government over the treatment of more than 1,200 Muslim and South Asian men rounded up right after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Many of them were either in the country without authorization or remained in the U.S. on expired visas.
“I was being hated by everyone around me wanting revenge for Sept. 11,” Ebrahim said. He acknowledged being in the country illegally but claims he did nothing else illegal.
One intelligence analyst told this writer that the allegation must be considered in the context of the facts.
Fact: On Sept. 11, 2001, there were multiple terrorist attacks perpetrated against the United States.
Fact: The nineteen attackers all were Middle Eastern males, some in the country illegally and classified as visa overstays. Fact: Yasser Ebrahim is a Middle Eastern male who was residing in the United States illegally.
Fact: Mr. Ebrahim was believed to be uncooperative with interrogators who wished to deter or thwart other attacks during the uncertain days following the worst attack on US soil in history.
Fact: The alleged number of those detained is about 1,200 Islamic men; there are millions of Muslims in the United States, many of them on visas, some of them on expired visas.
The Center for Constitutional Rights — a left-wing legal group handling the case — said the conditions for the plaintiffs return to the United States include a prohibitions on their speaking to any person outside the case and that they restrict their activities staying in their hotel rooms and traveling to and from the federal courthouse in New York City.
Ebrahim’s brother Hany Ibrahim was due to arrive in New York on Monday, CCR legal director Bill Goodman said, and the other two would arrive at some point in the next two weeks, according to Reuters.
Goodman told Reuters that the restrictions on the four men were highly unusual in a civil case and a sign of what he called government “paranoia over Muslim and Middle Eastern men.” However, U.S. officials believe that these men are still considered suspicious in spite of the unsuccessful interrogations conducted over several months.
They are among eight named plaintiffs in the case that names former Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, immigration officials and prison officers among the defendants. The suit, originally filed in 2002, seeks compensation and punitive damages.
A 2003 report by Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General found that some New York City corrections officers slammed detainees against the wall, twisted their arms and hands in painful ways, stepped on their leg restraint chains and punished them by keeping them restrained for long periods of time. However, there was no mention of federal agents and interrogators mistreating the suspects. There also appears to be no connection between the alleged incidents of mistreatment and the complaints being filed by Ebrahim.
A federal law enforcement executive claims that the plaintiffs’ attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights have a hidden agenda: revealing top secret information to the public and to the world within the pretext of a lawsuit.
“First we had generals running wars. Then we had politicians running wars. Now we have glorified ambulance chasers trying to run this war — and their succeeding,” he said.
He also said that the CCR attorneys waited until enough time passed after 9-11 so they could take the U.S. actions against their clients out of context. Americans — including law enforcement officials — were coming to grips with of a horrible and devastating event.
The U.S. Department of Justice said they would not comment on the case or the terms of the restricted movements of the plaintiffs.
Another Muslim, Mohamed Abdel Wahab Yakoub, a.k.a. Mohamed Wardi, a 61-year-old native of Egypt and a resident of Maryland, actually did plead guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of smuggling Middle Eastern aliens into the United States while working at the Saudi Arabian embassy. Yakoub is facing a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years when he is sentenced by Judge Brinkema on April 7, 2006. Yakoub is also facing deportation to Egypt following his sentencing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents first arrested Yakoub, who was fired by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in late 2002, at Dulles International Airport on Feb. 14, 2005, upon his arrival on a flight from Cairo, Egypt. Joint Terrorism Task Force agents in Washington, DC had been investigating Yakoub and his alleged human smuggling scheme for more than a year.
Yakoub is expected to also claim abuse while being held in custody and interrogated as to the identities of the Muslim men he smuggled into the United States.
”’Jim Kouri, CPP, is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own Web site is located at:”’ http://jimkouri.us
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