WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Amir Mohamed Meshal, a natural born United States citizen, charging two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Chris Higgenbotham and Steve Hersem, and twelve other unknown U.S. government officials for allegedly violating his Constitutional rights.
Meshal, who resides in Tinton Falls, was studying religion in Mogadishu, Somalia, when hostilities broke out in December 2006.
With the airport disabled by bombing, Meshal fled to neighboring Kenya by boat, where he wandered in the forest for around three weeks seeking shelter and assistance.
Meshal was arrested by soldiers from the United States, Ethiopia and Kenya who comprised a joint military task force established in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Meshal was allegedly held in Kenya without access to an attorney or any process to contest his detention before being illegally rendered to Somalia and then to Ethiopia where he was imprisoned in secret for an additional 3 1/2 months, the lawsuit contends.
During the total of four months Meshal was detained, he was allegedly interrogated more than 30 times in three different countries by two FBI agents and other U.S. officials who he claims threatened to torture him or “make him disappear,” according to the lawsuit.
The Obama administration asked the presiding district court judge, Emmet Sullivan, to dismiss the case, citing national security concerns.
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