Published January 13, 2015
An Ohio man jailed for more than three years on government suspicions that he has terrorism connections is dropping his fight against deportation to his native Yemen.
Ashraf Al-Jailani, 41, of Kent in northeast Ohio, has denied any terrorism links and complained of being held without charges. He had previously expressed concern that he would be tortured in Yemen.
"The very real risk that he will be detained and tortured remains," his lawyer, Farhad Sethna, said Friday. "However, Ashraf believes that being held for the last three years without his family has been torture enough."
Mike Gilhooly, spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would not say when the government planned to deport Al-Jailani.
The government says it has held him because of possible connections with a suspected terrorist and the brother of one of the Sept. 11 airline hijackers who targeted the World Trade Center.
According to the FBI, Al-Jailani's 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 government also has alleged al-Jailani may be a danger to his American-born wife, Michele Swensen, based on a no-contest plea to a domestic violence charge in 1998. The couple have three children and Swensen has sought his release.