U.S. Citizen Sues Over Alleged Rendition

The Washington Post reports on a lawsuit filed by Amir Meshal, who alleges he was subject to extraordianry rendition even though he is a U.S. citizen.  From the Post story.

Meshal, a Muslim born to Egyptian parents, traveled to Somalia in 2006 “to enrich his study of Islam,” according to the lawsuit. Mogadishu, the Somali capital, had recently come under the control of a militia known as the Islamic Courts Union. Later that year, the U.S.- and Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government of Somalia launched a military offensive and took back the city.

As he fled the fighting, Meshal was picked up in Kenya, near the Somali border, and held at the behest of U.S. officials, often in filthy and crowded cells, according to the lawsuit. He was repeatedly questioned by FBI agents who threatened to send him to Israel or Egypt unless he acknowledged ties to al-Qaeda, the lawsuit alleges.

Meshal signed a document waiving counsel, but the lawsuit claims that the FBI told him doing so was the only way he would get home, effectively leaving him no choice.

When a Kenyan human rights group filed a habeas petition on behalf of Meshal and other foreigners picked up at the border with Somalia, the American was secretly flown back to Somalia, where he was held for a number of days, before being taken to Ethiopia. He was also questioned repeatedly by U.S. agents in Ethiopia before finally being allowed to return to the United States on May 26, 2007, the suit says.

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