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Idriss Abdelrahman, Falsely Accused of Supporting Al Qaeda, Returns to Mali

The immigration service has confirmed that former client Idriss Abdelrahman is on his way to Mali after three-and-a-half years in American prisons.  Mr. Abdelrahman, a Songhai tribesman from the war-torn region of Gao, was tragically removed from his family, lured to Ghana with promises of riches, detained by Ghanaian law enforcement and rendered, without legal proceedings, to the United States to stand trial.  He was initially accused of being an Al Qaeda operative who offered to smuggle drugs across the Sahara for FARC, the Colombian militant group.  In fact, he was the target of a DEA sting operation and had no Al Qaeda ties whatsoever and no ability to smuggle drugs.  The Al Qaeda charge was based in large part on a false translation offered by the government to bolster lies it had been told by a well-paid “confidential source.”  The drug charge (which carried a twenty-year mandatory minimum sentence) was dismissed in return for a guilty plea to “material support” of a terrorist organization, i.e. FARC.  Mr. Abdelrahman was sentenced to 46 months in prison, which ended in February, which the New York Times characterized as “lenient.”  We can only hope Mr. Abdelrahman can put this ordeal behind him and that his family is safe from the very terrorists he was falsely accused of assisting.

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