Man intends to sue U.S. for alleged kidnapping

A man claiming he was kidnapped by U.S. agents and held in an Afghan prison intends to file a civil suit, his lawyer approved Wednesday.

Lebanese-born Khaled el-Masri says he was the innocent victim of a "rendition," a practice used by the United States to transfer suspected militants in secret from one country to another for interrogation.

Masri says he was arrested in Macedonia on December 31, 2003 and flown by U.S. agents to an Afghan jail. Five months later he was flown back to Europe and dumped in Albania. From there, he was forced to get home on his own.

According to NBC News Masri was taken because he had the same name as an al- Qaida suspect. It said that even when investigators realized the error, he was held for six more weeks in an Afghan jail, dubbed the "Salt Pit," before being freed.

A German state prosecutor is investigating the case as a kidnapping by "persons unknown", and has requested information from the United States, Macedonia and Albania.

The Bush administration acknowledges using renditions as a tool in the War on Terror, but denies charges by human rights groups that amount to outsourcing torture. It refuses to comment on Masri's case, AHN reports.


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