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Arrested in Kabul

January 26, 2011

A report by a German newspaper says a 23-year-old German citizen of Afghan descent was arrested by US troops in Kabul on apparent suspicion of terrorism. German diplomats say they are working to access the young man.

Jet takes off from Bagram air base
The German is reportedly being held at a US prison in BagramImage: AP

The German Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it is making intense efforts to gain access to a German citizen arrested by United States troops in Afghanistan, according to a report by a German newspaper.

The Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported in its Wednesday edition that a 23-year-old student from Frankfurt, identified only as Haddid N., had been arrested by US troops on Jan. 8 at his father's house in Kabul.

He was later brought to the US military prison in Bagram, where he apparently remains in custody, the report said. A statement from the German Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the case and was working intensely with American officials to gain access to him.

Police at Frankfurt Airport
Haddid N. was reportedly stopped by police at Frankfurt AirportImage: AP

The young man's sister, a lawyer in Frankfurt, was quoted as saying she did not know what he was arrested for. She accused German security forces of forwarding "unfounded information about allegedly criminal activity" to Afghanistan, which the Federal Criminal Police Agency denied.

Suspicion of terrorism

The report said that in October 2009 German police had stopped Haddid N. at Frankfurt Airport on his way to Pakistan, where he said he was planning to visit his grandmother.

Frankfurt public prosecutors began preliminary proceedings against him, accusing him of wanting to train at militant Islamist camps.

The charges were dropped in July 2010 for lack of evidence, the newspaper reported, and Haddid N. was given back his previously confiscated passport. Late last November he flew with a friend to a brother in Dubai. The police had had no objections, his sister said.

Then on Dec. 17 he reportedly abandoned plans to return to Germany and flew to Kabul to visit his father. In early January, Frankfurt police reportedly contacted the sister and told her Haddid N. was suspected of trying to connect himself to a jihadist network, and he was arrested shortly thereafter.

Author: Andrew Bowen (AFP, dapd, dpa)
Editor: Michael Lawton