Conflict & Justice

California man charged with terror offenses

If Hamdan is convicted, each of his charges carry a life sentence. Hamdan was living in Dubai when he was taken from his apartment by Emirati security forces in late August. For the first three months he was held in a secret location where he claims he was severely beaten and left naked in a tiny, cold cell. Hamdan told his lawyer he has no idea why he was being detained but after being tortured he was telling them whatever they wanted to hear. Neither the State Department nor the government of the UAE have explained why he's being detained. Hamdan's family says the FBI has questioned him repeatedly for over a decade. The ACLU is suing the U.S. government to seek his release. This ACLU representative says a man with an English accent threatened him while he was in detention. The FBI has not answered why they would be interested in Hamdan. Hamdan became successful selling automobiles in South Los Angeles. His friend says some of his work involved selling rebuilt cars to customers in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan. He confirms that FBI agents came to talk to him in LA. In 2005, the U.S. announced it was investigating U.S.-based auto theft rings after it discovered that some vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq were stolen in the U.S. the FBI has not commented on whether Hamdan's auto business was involved in this criminal activity. The business partner says neither him nor Hamdan are involved in criminal activity but it's impossible to tell where their cars end up after being purchased in the Middle East. He says he doesn't know why the FBI would be interested in Hamdan.

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