A German citizen suspected of being a terrorist was whisked by the CIA out of Macedonia in 2003 and imprisoned in Afghanistan for six months even though half way through his detention it became clear he was completely innocent, NBC News said late Thursday. Khaled El-Masri was held in secret at an Afghani prison nicknamed the "Salt Pit" for three months while Central Intelligence Agency agents considered what to do with him, until Condoleezza Rice, who was then national security adviser to President George W. Bush, ordered him set free. El-Masri's case highlights the highly controversial practice of so-called "rendition" used by US officials to capture suspected terrorists and jail them in countries where their treatment is unconstrained by US laws. NBC News said Macedonian authorities first detained El-Masri in late December 2002, because his name matched someone who had trained in an Al-Qaeda terrorist camp and he had a fake passport. The Macedonians contacted the CIA and El-Masri said he was kidnapped and flow by US officials to Afghanistan where he was kept in harsh conditions until his release in late May 2004.