Man Held 3 Years On Terror Suspicions Facing Possible Deportation

Posted on Saturday, October 22 at 14:12 by jensonj
If he does not appeal the decision, he could be ordered removed from the United States as soon as Nov. 16. His lawyer, Farhad Sethna, said Friday he is discussing with al-Jailani, who is in a detention center in York, Pa., whether to appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Federal investigators first became interested in al-Jailani in 1999, when his business card was discovered with a suspected terrorist in New York. Sethna this week released a statement from al-Jailani that says he does not want to leave the county and misses his wife and three children in Ohio, whom he is not allowed to see. The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations and others are planning a protest rally Saturday at a mosque in Cuyahoga Falls to mark the three years al-Jailani has been detained. The U.N. torture convention, or detailed policy, was formed in 1985 to ban torture under all circumstances and forbids the return of a refugee to his or her country if there is reason to believe the person will be tortured. Immigration Judge Walt Durling said in his ruling in December that al-Jailani's fear of torture in Yemen "appears well-founded, whether or not such actual torture would occur." A statement released Friday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security didn't address al-Jailani's torture concerns. Barring any further litigation, the statement said, immigration officials will "will continue to pursue the removal of Mr. Al-Jailani from the United States." The government's attorney, Immigration and Customs Enforcement lawyer Jeffrey Bubier, had no comment. The government has alleged al-Jailani may be a danger to his American-born wife based on his no-contest plea to a domestic violence charge from an incident in 1998. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft granted him a pardon in 2001. His business card as a geochemist, a scientist who studies the composition of the earth's crust, was discovered with a suspected terrorist in New York, the FBI has said. FBI agents have also raised concerns about calls made from al-Jailani's home in Ohio to numbers in New York that also had been called by another Yemen native who has pleaded guilty in a money-laundering case. The FBI also believes that al-Jailani knew the brother of one hijacker aboard one of the two planes that hit the World Trade Center. Michele Swensen, al-Jailani's wife, had been hoping for a court ruling that would set him free. She said Friday the latest ruling was difficult for her. "When I heard, it was just like being hit by a brick," Swensen said. "I was extremely sad. This is a man who has done nothing wrong and has never been charged with a crime. He's spent three years away from his children, sitting in a jail cell. His children desperately need him." Their children are girls, ages 9 and 7, and a 5-year-old boy. "I grew up thinking that this was a democracy and that we have justice and liberty here, but what I've seen is completely the opposite," said Swensen, who said she met al-Jailani when he was a graduate student in Japan. She said he often sent out his business card and resume seeking jobs. She denied that he ever had terrorist ties. "There was nothing to that," Swensen said. October 21, 2005 7:14 PM

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