A Virginia man is expected to arrive back in the U.S. this afternoon after being stranded in Egypt for two months after the FBI put him on a no-fly list.
At his parents' urging, Yahya Wehelie, 26, traveled to Yemen two years ago to learn Arabic and find direction for his life. But it was when he tried to return home to finish his education and get a job, that Wehelie, who is of Somali decent, was stopped in Cairo.
His brother, Yusuf Wehelie, 19, also traveled to Yemen and was questioned for several days and chained to a wall in an Egyptian jail. He was allowed to return to the U.S.
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the government over the constitutionality of the no-fly list.
FBI spokesman Michael P. Kortan said as a policy the agency doesn't comment on who was on the watch list, but recent terrorism plots showed the need "to remain vigilant." In an interview with The New York Times, he said "the F.B.I. is always careful to protect the civil rights and privacy concerns of all Americans, including individuals in minority and ethnic communities."
Wehelie, who married a Somali woman while in Yemen, says he just wants to return home to a home-cooked meal of his mom's lasagna.
"I'm not angry at all. I know who I am and I knew eventually I would go home," he told the Associated Press. "They're trying to find the bad people, so more power to them."
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