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Khalid El-Masri

Khalid El-Masri

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Khalid El-Masri (born June 29, 1963) is a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 citizen who was kidnapped in the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, flown to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, allegedly beaten, stripped, raped, and interrogated and tortured by the CIA for several months as a part of the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, and then released. His erroneous rendition was apparently due to a misunderstanding that arose concerning the similarity of the spelling of El-Masri's name with the spelling of suspected terrorist al-Masri
Khalid al-Masri
Khalid al-Masri is the name of a person alleged to have approached two 9/11 hijackers on a train in Germany and suggested that they contact an alleged al Qaeda operative in Duisburg....

 (the names are spelled the same way when using Arabic script).

El-Masri was born in Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 to Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 parents. He grew up in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

.
He based his application for asylum on his membership in the Islamic Unification Movement
Islamic Unification Movement
The Islamic Unification Movement – IUM , also named Islamic Unity Movement or Mouvement de Unification Islamique in French, but best known as ‘Al-Tawhid’, ‘At-Tawhid’, or ‘Tawheed’, is a Lebanese Sunni Muslim fundamentalist political party...

.
He was granted asylum, and in 1994 he obtained German citizenship through previous marriage with a German woman. In 1996, he married a fellow Lebanese and has several children.

Arrest and detention


El-Masri travelled from his home in Ulm
Ulm
Ulm is a city in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube. The city, whose population is estimated at 120,000 , forms an urban district of its own and is the administrative seat of the Alb-Donau district. Ulm, founded around 850, is rich in history and...

 to go on vacation in Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

 at the end of 2003. He was detained by Macedonian
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 border officials on December 31, 2003, because his name was identical (except for variations in Roman transliteration) to that of Khalid al-Masri, an alleged mentor to the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell
Hamburg cell
The Hamburg cell was, according to U.S. and German intelligence agencies, a group of radical Islamists based in Hamburg, Germany that included students who eventually came to be key operatives in the 9/11 attacks...

 who has not been apprehended, and because of suspicion that his German passport was a forgery. He was held in a motel in Macedonia for over three weeks and questioned about his activities, his associates, and the mosque he attended in Ulm.

The Macedonian authorities also contacted the local CIA station, who in turn contacted the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia
Langley, Virginia
Langley is an unincorporated community in the census-designated place of McLean in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States.The community was essentially absorbed into McLean many years ago, although there is still a Langley High School...

. A December 4, 2005, article in the Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

said that an argument arose within the CIA over whether they should remove him from Macedonia in an extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition is the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another. "Torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the United States and the United Kingdom have transferred suspected terrorists to other countries in order to torture the...

. The decision to do so was made by the head of the al Qaeda division of the CIA's Counter-terrorism Center on the basis of a hunch he was involved in terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

. The local authorities released him on January 23, 2004 and American security officials, described in an MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 article as members of a "black snatch team", came to Skopje, and detained him. El-Masri alleges that they beat him, stripped him naked, drugged him, and gave him an enema
Enema
An enema is the procedure of introducing liquids into the rectum and colon via the anus. The increasing volume of the liquid causes rapid expansion of the lower intestinal tract, often resulting in very uncomfortable bloating, cramping, powerful peristalsis, a feeling of extreme urgency and...

. He was then dressed in a diaper
Diaper
A nappy or a diaper is a kind of pant that allows one to defecate or urinate on oneself discreetly. When diapers become soiled, they require changing; this process is often performed by a second person such as a parent or caregiver...

 and a jumpsuit
Jumpsuit
Jumpsuit originally referred to the utilitarian one-piece garments used by parachuters/skydivers, but has come to be used as a common term for any one-piece garment with sleeves and legs.-Use:...

, and flown to Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, then immediately to "the salt pit", a covert CIA interrogation
Interrogation
Interrogation is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information. Subjects of interrogation are often the suspects, victims, or witnesses of a crime...

 center in Afghanistan which contained prisoners from Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

.

Afghanistan detention


El-Masri wrote in the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

that, while held in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, he was beaten and repeatedly interrogated. He has also claimed that he was sodomized. He was kept in a bare, squalid cell, given only meager rations to eat and putrid water to drink. In February, CIA officers in Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 began to suspect his passport was genuine. The passport was sent to the CIA headquarters in Langley where in March the CIA's Office of Technical Services concluded it was indeed genuine. Discussion over what to do with El-Masri included secretly transporting him back to Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, without informing German authorities, dumping him, and denying any claims he made. In the end they did inform the German government, without apologizing, and were able to persuade the Germans to remain silent.

In March 2004 El-Masri took part in a hunger strike
Hunger strike
A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change. Most hunger strikers will take liquids but not...

, demanding that his captors afford him due process or watch him die. After 27 days without eating, he forced a meeting with the prison director and a CIA officer known as "The Boss". They conceded he should not be imprisoned but refused to release him. El-Masri continued his hunger strike for 10 more days until he was force-fed and given medical attention. He had lost more than 60 pounds since his abduction in Skopje.

While imprisoned in Afghanistan, Masri befriended several other detainees, and they all memorized each other's telephone numbers so that if one was released they could contact the others' families. One of these detainees, an Algerian named Laid Saidi
Laid Saidi
Laid Saidi is an Algerian who has claimed that he was imprisoned, for several years, in a CIA black site in Afghanistan called "the salt pit"....

, was recently released and his description of his capture and detention closely matches that of El-Masri.

El-Masri reports that "high-value detainee" Majid Khan was held in the salt pit at the same time as he was.
Khan spent a further three and a half years in CIA custody prior to being transferred to Guantanamo on September 5, 2006.

Release and CIA response


In April 2004, CIA Director George Tenet
George Tenet
George John Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University....

 learned that El-Masri was being wrongfully detained. National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor (United States)
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

 Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 learned of his detention in early May and ordered his release. El-Masri was released on May 28 following a second order from Rice. They flew him out of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and released him at night on a desolate road in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, without apology, or funds to return home. He claimed that at the time he believed his release was a ruse, and he would be executed. He was eventually intercepted by Albanian guards, who believed him to be a terrorist due to his haggard and unkempt appearance. He was subsequently reunited with his wife who had returned to her family in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, with their children, because she thought her husband had abandoned them. Using isotope analysis
Isotope analysis
Isotope analysis is the identification of isotopic signature, the distribution of certain stable isotopes and chemical elements within chemical compounds. This can be applied to a food web to make it possible to draw direct inferences regarding diet, trophic level, and subsistence...

, scientists at the Bavarian archive for geology in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 analyzed his hair and verified that he was malnourished during his disappearance.

"Frances", the CIA analyst who mistakenly recommended El-Masri's detention and rendition was reportedly not punished or fired. In fact, according to reports, she has since been promoted to chief of the agency's Global Jihad unit in charge of hunting al-Qaida and is part of the President's inner circle as his Director for Counterterrorism. "Elizabeth" (her first name), the CIA lawyer who approved the seizure of El-Masri, was reprimanded but continued to work for the agency as legal advisor to its Near East division.

Subsequent events related to his capture


  • A November 9, 2005 Reuters
    Reuters
    Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

     story stated that a German prosecutor is investigating El-Masri's kidnapping "by persons unknown", and that another lawyer, Manfred Gnjidic
    Manfred Gnjidic
    Manfred Gnjidic is a lawyer in Germany.In 2004 he was employed by Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen who claims he was subjected to extraordinary rendition....

    , would be flying to the U.S. to file a civil compensation suit. The Reuters story says American authorities have neither confirmed nor denied any element of El-Masri's story.
  • According to a December 4, 2005, article in the Washington Post, the CIA's Inspector General
    Inspector General
    An Inspector General is an investigative official in a civil or military organization. The plural of the term is Inspectors General.-Bangladesh:...

     is investigating a series of "erroneous renditions", including El-Masri's. The article was written by Dana Priest
    Dana Priest
    Dana Priest is an American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Priest has worked almost 20 years for The Washington Post. As one of the Post's specialists on National Security she has written many articles on the United States' "War on terror." In 2006 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat...

    , the journalist who broke the story on the covert interrogation centres — the "black site
    Black site
    In military terminology, a black site is a location at which an unacknowledged black project is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction. It...

    s".
  • On December 5, 2005, German Chancellor
    Chancellor
    Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

     Angela Merkel
    Angela Merkel
    Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

     said that the United States had acknowledged holding El-Masri in error.
  • On December 6, 2005, the American Civil Liberties Union
    American Civil Liberties Union
    The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

     helped El-Masri file suit in the USA against former CIA director George Tenet
    George Tenet
    George John Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University....

     and the owners of the private jets, leased to the US government, that the CIA used to transport him. El-Masri had to participate via a video link because the American authorities again confused him with al-Qaeda
    Al-Qaeda
    Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

     terrorist Khalid al-Masri
    Khalid al-Masri
    Khalid al-Masri is the name of a person alleged to have approached two 9/11 hijackers on a train in Germany and suggested that they contact an alleged al Qaeda operative in Duisburg....

     and denied him entry when his plane landed in the United States. Some press reports attributed the Americans barring him entry due to his name remaining on the watch list. But his lawyer, Manfred Gnjidic, was also barred entry.
  • On December 17, 2005, Front
    Front (magazine)
    Front was first published by Cabal Communications in 1998, it was created to rival IPC's publication Loaded, catering to a demographic of 16- to 25-year-old males. It began as part of the British "lads' mag" genre of magazines though the covers rejects this description with the statement "Front is...

     
    magazine published an article that said a member of a German Intelligence Agency had clandestinely passed a copy of El-Masri's dossier to the CIA in April 2004.
  • El-Masri published a first-person account of his experience in the Los Angeles Times
    Los Angeles Times
    The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

    .
  • A report on March 2, 2006, suggested that El-Masri may have been a leader of a radical, Lebanese Sunni islamist group ideologically affiliated with the Muslim brotherhood
    Muslim Brotherhood
    The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

     called "el-Tawhid" in the early 1980s, which fought Alawites in Tripoli during the Lebanese Civil War
    Lebanese Civil War
    The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

    . The description of the group fits the Islamic Unification Movement
    Islamic Unification Movement
    The Islamic Unification Movement – IUM , also named Islamic Unity Movement or Mouvement de Unification Islamique in French, but best known as ‘Al-Tawhid’, ‘At-Tawhid’, or ‘Tawheed’, is a Lebanese Sunni Muslim fundamentalist political party...

    , also known simply as "Tawhid". German reports assert that El-Masri himself reported his being a member of "El-Tawhid" or "Al-Tawhid" when he applied to Germany for refugee status, in 1985. The reference to "El-Tawhid" may have been confused with the group Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi lead, Al Qaeda in Iraq, used to be called "Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad". "Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad", the former name for Zarqawi's group, translates as the "movement for monotheism and struggle".
  • On May 12, 2006, a U.S. federal court heard a government motion to dismiss the suit brought by El-Masri, claiming the trial could jeopardize national security.
  • On May 18, 2006, U.S. Federal District Judge T.S. Ellis, III dismissed a lawsuit El-Masri filed against the CIA and three private companies allegedly involved with his transport, explaining that a public trial would "present a grave risk of injury to national security." (This legal doctrine is known as the state secrets privilege
    State Secrets Privilege
    The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule created by United States legal precedent. Application of the privilege results in exclusion of evidence from a legal case based solely on affidavits submitted by the government stating that court proceedings might disclose sensitive information...

    .) Ellis also acknowledged that if Masri's allegations were true then he deserved compensation from the US government.
  • The BND
    Bundesnachrichtendienst
    The Bundesnachrichtendienst [ˌbʊndəsˈnaːχʁɪçtnˌdiːnst] is the foreign intelligence agency of Germany, directly subordinated to the Chancellor's Office. Its headquarters are in Pullach near Munich, and Berlin . The BND has 300 locations in Germany and foreign countries...

     (German intelligence agency) declared on June 1, 2006 that it had known of El-Masri's seizure 16 months before Germany was officially informed of his mistaken arrest. Germany had previously claimed that it did not know of El-Masri's abduction until his return to the country in May 2004.
  • On July 26, 2006, The ACLU announced that "it will appeal the recent dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Khaled El-Masri against the US government." According to ACLU attorney Ben Wizner, "If this decision stands, the government will have a blank check to shield even its most shameful conduct from accountability."
  • On October 4, 2006 the Washington Post reported that Munich prosecutors were complaining that a lack of cooperation from US authorities was impeding their investigation into El-Masri's abduction. The article reports that Munich prosecutors have a list of the names, or known aliases, of 20 CIA operatives who they believe played a role in the abduction.
  • On January 31, 2007 Munich Prosecutor Christian Schmidt-Sommerfeld announced that warrants for 13 people were issued for suspected involvement in Mr El-Masri's rendition.
  • On February 6, 2007, U.S. officials warn the German Government not to issue international warrants.
  • On February 21, 2007, the German Government decided to pass the warrants to Interpol
    Interpol
    Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

    .
  • On March 2, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal.
  • On April 30, 2007, The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
    Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
    The Federal Constitutional Court is a special court established by the Grundgesetz, the German basic law...

     ruled as unconstitutional the tapping
    Telephone tapping
    Telephone tapping is the monitoring of telephone and Internet conversations by a third party, often by covert means. The wire tap received its name because, historically, the monitoring connection was an actual electrical tap on the telephone line...

     of the phones of El-Masri's lawyer by Munich's DA office. The DA had requested the tapping claiming they expected the kidnappers to contact the lawyer "to find a solution to the case".
  • The real names of two of the pilots on the El-Masri rendition flight were revealed in June 2007, in the (German language) proceedings of netzwerk recherche (NR), a German association of investigative reporters, as Eric Robert Hume (alias Eric Matthew Fain), and James Kovalesky. For several months previously, both U.S. and German newspapers had been dropping heavy hints as to the pilots' true identities. In July 2007, SourceWatch
    SourceWatch
    SourceWatch is an internet wiki site that is a collaborative project of the liberal Center for Media and Democracy...

     identified the third pilot on the El-Masri flight as Harry Kirk Elarbee, on the basis of an automated search of the FAA airmen database and corroborating information previously published in the press.
  • In June 2007 the ACLU filed a petition for certiorari
    Certiorari
    Certiorari is a type of writ seeking judicial review, recognized in U.S., Roman, English, Philippine, and other law. Certiorari is the present passive infinitive of the Latin certiorare...

     at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On July 12, 2007 the European Parliament
    European Parliament
    The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

     issued the 2006 Progress Report on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in which the authorities of Macedonia
    Republic of Macedonia
    Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

     were urged to cooperate in the investigation of the circumstances of the abduction.
  • In September 2007, the German Government decided not to ask the US officially for extradition as an unofficial request had met a negative reply.
  • On September 5, 2007, the Constitution Project
    Constitution Project
    The Constitution Project is an non-profit think tank in the United States that builds bipartisan consensus on significant constitutional and legal questions. Founded and led by Virginia Sloan, the Constitution Project’s work is divided between two programs: the Rule of Law Program and the Criminal...

     filed an amicus curiae
    Amicus curiae
    An amicus curiae is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it...

    , a legal brief in support of his petition for certiorari.
  • On October 9, 2007, the ACLU petition was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court without comment.
  • On June 10, 2008, a new civil suit was launched by German and US civil rights lawyers representing Mr El- Masri seeking to force the German government to reconsider the extradition requests it issued in January 2007.
  • In May of 2009, Prosecutors attached to the Spanish National Court
    Audiencia Nacional of Spain
    The Audiencia Nacional is a a special and exceptional high court in Spain. It has its seat in Madrid and jurisdiction over all of Spain and international crimes which come under the competence of Spanish courts....

     asked for an arrest order for thirteen CIA agents involved in the kidnapping.

Arson incident and other legal troubles


On May 17, 2007, El-Masri was arrested on suspicion of arson
Arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

. According to Die Welt Online (in German) the problem arose over a dispute over an iPod
IPod
iPod is a line of portable media players created and marketed by Apple Inc. The product line-up currently consists of the hard drive-based iPod Classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, the compact iPod Nano, and the ultra-compact iPod Shuffle...

 that El-Masri had bought at a METRO
Metro AG
Metro AG is a diversified retail and wholesale/cash and carry group based in Düsseldorf, Germany. It has the largest market share in its home market, and is one of the most globalised retail and wholesale corporations. It is the fourth-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues . In English...

 warehouse club
Warehouse club
A warehouse club is a retail store, usually selling a wide variety of merchandise, in which customers are required to buy large, wholesale quantities of the store's products, which makes these clubs attractive to both bargain hunters and small business owners. The clubs are able to keep prices low...

 store back in April in the Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n city of Neu-Ulm
Neu-Ulm
Neu-Ulm is a town in Bavaria, capital of the Neu-Ulm district. Neighbouring towns include Ulm, Senden, Pfaffenhofen an der Roth, Holzheim, Nersingen and Elchingen. The population is 51,110 .-History:...

.
He claimed the iPod malfunctioned just hours after purchase. When he tried to return it, the store refused, and the situation escalated into a shouting match. El-Masri spat in the face of a female employee, and was barred from the store. On May 17, 2007, El-Masri kicked in a door of the Metro store and used gasoline to start a fire. The fire caused almost €90,000 in damages. Nobody was hurt. El-Masri was arrested near the scene of the crime. After arrest, a judge ordered him held in a psychiatric hospital. On May 18, El-Masri's attorney, Manfred Gnjidic
Manfred Gnjidic
Manfred Gnjidic is a lawyer in Germany.In 2004 he was employed by Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen who claims he was subjected to extraordinary rendition....

, conceded his client did set fire to the store, but blamed it on his client's torture experiences and claimed that the German government did not provide enough therapy to him after his return from Afghanistan. He had actually requested extended therapy for his client shortly before the incident, as El-Masri stated he felt threatened, and believed himself to be pursued by cars and strangers. He stated the act of arson was executed on impulse and could not have led to a larger fire. While the courts recognized that El-Masri had never breached the law before his CIA abduction, and ruled that he had been traumatized, they also stated that this did not now justify acts of violence. He received a suspended sentence.

Prosecutors in the arson case also revealed that El-Masri faced charges for allegedly attacking a truck driving instructor. They said El-Masri lost his temper after the instructor criticised him for failing to attend his lessons.

On September 11, 2009, El-Masri was arrested after attacking Gerold Noerenberg, the mayor of Neu-Ulm. Shortly before the attack El-Masri tried to meet Noerenberg, but was prevented from entering the office and sent off by the police. He then took three of his six children with him, stormed the office and struck Noerenberg repeatedly in the face and threw a chair after him. He was arrested two hours after the attack in Senden
Senden
The town of Senden is the second-largest town of the district of Neu-Ulm in Bavaria and is located at the border to Baden-Württemberg. The town belongs to the Donau-Iller-Nahverkehrsverbund...

. He confessed the attack, but kept silent about the motives at the time.
Writing from his cell, he complained about the increasing licensing of brothels by the city, one of which he said desecrated a Muslim prayer room. He was sentenced to two years' imprisonment on 30 March 2010. His lawyer, Manfred Gnjidic
Manfred Gnjidic
Manfred Gnjidic is a lawyer in Germany.In 2004 he was employed by Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen who claims he was subjected to extraordinary rendition....

, explained that El-Masri believed he was pursued by the secret services, trying to break or recruit him, and he intended to file an appeal.

See also

  • Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States
    Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States
    Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States, in the context of the War on Terrorism, refers to foreign nationals the United States detains outside of the legal process required within United States legal jurisdiction. In this context, the U.S...

  • Ghost detainee
    Ghost detainee
    Ghost detainee is an official term used by the U.S. Government to designate a person held in a detention center, whose identity has been hidden by keeping them unregistered and therefore anonymous. It was also used in the same manner by the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at the Abu...

  • Forced disappearance
    Forced disappearance
    In international human rights law, a forced disappearance occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the...

  • Prison Rape
    Prison rape
    Prison rape commonly refers to the rape of inmates in prison by other inmates or prison staff.In 2001, Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 140,000 inmates had been raped while incarcerated. and there is a significant variation in the rates of prison rape by race...

  • State secrets privilege
    State Secrets Privilege
    The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule created by United States legal precedent. Application of the privilege results in exclusion of evidence from a legal case based solely on affidavits submitted by the government stating that court proceedings might disclose sensitive information...



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    Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr
    Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr , also known as Abu Omar, is an Egyptian cleric. In 2003 he was living in Milan, Italy, from where he was kidnapped and allegedly later tortured in Egypt. This "Imam rapito affair" prompted a series of investigations in Italy, culminating in the criminal convictions of...

  • Maher Arar
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    Maher Arar is a telecommunications engineer with dual Syrian and Canadian citizenship who resides in Canada. Arar's story is frequently referred to as "extraordinary rendition" but the U.S. government insisted it was a case of deportation.Arar was detained during a layover at John F...

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External links