On March 19, 2014, Nidal Mohamed Sakr, an American citizen from Providence, Rhode Island, was detained by Homeland Security upon his arrival in the United States from an extended stay in Egypt, the country of his mother’s birth. Although Sakr is an active member of the Muslim Brotherhood and former al-Qaeda associate, he was released and has been operating freely in the U.S., traveling back and forth between Florida and California as the head of a Miami-based, self-described “human rights” organization called The March for Justice.
This was not the first time that Sakr, who describes himself as “US born from Palestinian origin,” had been interrogated by American authorities. According to an account he posted on the March for Justice website, he was questioned by Palm Beach police in January 2002 about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. This occurred as he, Sakr, left an event held by a Jewish organization to express unity and solidarity in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which had taken place less than four months earlier. At the time, he penned a letter to President George W. Bush complaining that he was being victimized by anti-Muslim Jews.
Prior to 2014, when he was temporarily detained at a US airport, Sakr had spent time in Egypt, where he actively participated in the eruption of the “Arab Spring” — which led to the ouster and imprisonment of then-President Hosni Mubarak and the rise of Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Morsi as Egypt’s president. While in Egypt, Sakr gave a lecture in which he recounted how he was recruited by al-Qaeda co-founder and bin Laden mentor Abdullah Azzam to a Palestinian terrorist cell operating out of Jordan in the 1970s and ’80s. He also spoke about having gotten to know bin Laden and his family.
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