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German student freed from Bagram airbase

The Local · 29 Jan 2011, 13:12

Published: 29 Jan 2011 13:12 GMT+01:00

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The 23-year-old student at the Fachhochschule in Frankfurt, who has been named only as Haddid N., was released to the Germans after Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle raised his case with his US counterpart Hillary Clinton.

His sister Assma who works as a lawyer in Germany, said he would return to Germany as soon as possible. She confirmed he was in the German embassy in Kabul, and said the family was delighted by his release. “We have been able to speak with him on the phone several times,” she said.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung daily said earlier this week that the student from Frankfurt had been seized by US forces at his father's house in Kabul on January 8 and held at the Bagram air base in eastern Afghanistan.

The paper said that he had been detained at Frankfurt Airport in October 2009 while about to fly to Pakistan, on suspicion that he was going to a training camp for Islamic militants in neighbouring Afghanistan.

But prosecutors dropped their investigation last July and gave him his passport back. In November he flew to Dubai and instead of returning to Frankfurt, flew to Kabul in December, the report said.

The paper quoted his sister, saying that he was merely visiting his father, a businessman, in the Afghan capital.

But German police suspected otherwise and asked for the father's Kabul address - just a few days before his capture, the paper added.

German authorities deny having passed on any information to the Americans leading to the arrest, the paper said.

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The Foreign Ministry said Saturday it was glad that a solution had been found and added that Westerwelle thanked Clinton for her aid. Its embassy in Kabul was ready to help the student to return to Germany as soon as possible, it said.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:36 January 29, 2011 by wood artist
There's something missing here.

German police originally detained him, but released him when they didn't find enough to make any sort of charges. Okay, that's good. Then he flew out, and ended up in Kabul, saying he wanted to visit his father. Still good.

So, if "German authorities" didn't say anything to the Americans that led to his arrest, exactly why did the Americans arrest him. It would seem likely that he managed to hit their radar somehow.

I'm not suggesting he's done anything wrong, but I gotta believe he did "something" to get the Americans interested in him. Hmmmm. Questions, and more questions.

19:44 January 29, 2011 by DOZ
Re: wood artist

He was Muslim and in the eyes of the Americans and the Canadians, all Muslims are Terrorists. Just like, in the eyes of Canadians, all German's are Nazi's. Maybe Germans needs to take their Head out of the Sand and open their eyes to their supposable freinds in N.A.T.O. before it is too late.
19:51 January 29, 2011 by Gretl
DOZ- I think that's an exageration. However, while not all Muslims are terrorists, most terrorists are Muslims.

Because Germany is so insignificant to the issues in the Middle East, it has not been subject to the random acts of terror that the US, UK , Spain and Russia have.

As for Nazism - it is surprising how much Allied entertainment reinforces old sterotypes. You'd think we'd have more Russian or Middle Eastern baddies, but the glamorous propaganda machine makes for good cinema.
00:23 January 30, 2011 by wood artist

For the sake of the discussion, I'll assume he is Muslim, although nowhere did the article say that. However, he was arrested by the Americans, who are surrounded by Muslims in Afghanistan, so that alone would hardly make him stand out.

The original question remains: Why, exactly, did the Americans arrest him if the German authorities didn't tip them off? What did he do to stand out from all the other Muslims around there?

02:11 January 30, 2011 by Prufrock2010
The American government is so paranoid about terrorism, which is its domestic political currency, that it regards anyone with a Muslim-sounding name who wants to visit one of America's occupied territories, as an enemy combatant. How dare this young man want to visit his father? This is the world we live in, a world largely of America's creation.
09:37 January 30, 2011 by catjones
Thank-you local for allowing us to speculate and generalized without sufficient facts. I like the part about America's omniscience. I've asked the embassy in Berlin to put an end to graffiti. This should be a trifle. Let's see if they can pull it off. If they can put a man on the moon...........
11:27 January 30, 2011 by Kaaihueh
So well put catjones, comments allow us to play detective, ambassador, doctor, lawyer etc.

As one that has a law enforcement background we often follow leads that gives is probable cause to continue investigating until we find something more tangible.

True he just visited is father, but what else did he do there? Remember the recent arrests of the German citizens from Saarland. I'm sure they too was just visiting.

Witch hunts these days are much harder to hide with all these embedded media. I personally think that his past actions caught the attention of authorities once before and taking caution when it comes to terrorism, is much more the desired action I'd rather see than waiting for it. If to thwart an attack, so be it. In today's day and age,
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