US confirms American held in Kuwait

Posted on 08/01/2011


The US government said Friday it has offered its services to an American held in Kuwait and who reportedly alleges he was beaten by security agents inquiring about his trips to Somalia and Yemen.

Gulet Mohamed, a 19-year-old born in Somalia, was detained at an airport in Kuwait when he traveled there last month to renew his visa, according to The Washington Post which quoted his lawyer Gadeir Abbas.

The US State Department denied charges — which the Post said were made by Mohamed through his attorney — that Kuwaiti officials detained the young man on behalf of the United States.

“He was not detained at the behest of the United States government,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

“We have been providing him consular services. I’m not at liberty to say a great deal,” he said, adding he did not have a legal waiver of privacy to say more about him.

But Crowley added: “We are aware of his detention. We have provided him consular services, and we are ensuring his well-being, as we would for any citizen in detention.”

According to the Post, Abbas said he had spoken over the phone with his client who alleged security agents repeatedly struck him in the face while he was blindfolded and handcuffed.

He added that Mohamed was also beaten with a stick.

Abbas said the interrogators asked Mohamed whether he knew the US-Yemeni cleric and terror suspect Anwar al-Awlaki, whom senior US officials consider a terrorism threat on a par with Osama bin Laden.

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