US forces holding German Afghan on suspicion of terrorism

21st April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The German government has been working to secure his release.

Berlin -- The US military have been holding a German citizen of Afghan origin since early January for being on a US base without authorization, the German Foreign Ministry said in Berlin Saturday, confirming a news report.

The German government was working to secure his release, Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said.

"He is accused of being on an American base without permission," Jaeger said.

Earlier, the online service of the weekly Der Spiegel news magazine named the man as Gholam Ghaus Z, 41, saying he had been in Afghanistan to visit relatives.

Der Spiegel reported he was picked up trying to buy a razor at a supermarket on the US base. Currency from various countries had been found on him, leading the US military authorities to suspect a terrorist link, the magazine said.

Gholam Ghaus Z was being held at the Bagram base near Kabul, it said.

Der Spiegel said it had information that German intelligence officers had interviewed the man, who comes from the city of Wuppertal, and found nothing suspicious.

It reported that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had raised the case with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the beginning of March.

The US authorities were asking for security guarantees regarding Gholam Ghaus Z that were tantamount to complete surveillance. The German authorities felt they could not meet these conditions, the magazine said.

The case recalls that of Murat Kurnaz, released in August 2006 after spending more than four years in the US military facility at Guantanamo Bay. He was 19 years old on being detained and 24 on release.

DPA with Expatica

0 Comments To This Article