By: Ken Hanly
WASHINGTON (Somalilandsun) – A former British citizen, born in Somalia who had gone missing in Somalia has appeared in the US before a federal court to face charges of terrorism. Mahdi Hashi had been held in the U.S. since November 12 but his family and legal team were not notified.
Mahdi Hashi grew up in the UK from the age of five and was a UK citizen.
Two years ago he went to Somalia where he lived in Mogadishu and looked after his grandmother and a son of his own. This summer he disappeared. At the time he went missing, the family found out that the Home Office had stripped him of his citizenship and passport for allegedly being involved with Islamic extremists.
His family think he is a victim of a UK intelligence plot to punish him for refusing to act as an informer for M15. His father said:
“All I can say is that Madhi is a Muslim in belief; he is a practicing Muslim. But being a practicing Muslim does not mean an Islamist. That’s all why he is being victimized.”
In 2009 Hashi was a care worker in the Kentish Town Community Organization. He claims that he and four other workers were approached by UK security agents who tried to recruit them as informers to spy on the Muslim community. Hashi refused and complained to his MP, and reported the incident to the media as well. Asim Qureshi of CagePrisoner group said of the security agents:
“They were trying to offer him a job saying that effectively ‘You’re an extremist, we know you are one. The only way out is for you to come and wok for us, to come and help us.’ These were the kind of tactics that were being used.”
After Hashi disappeared, Mohamed Hashi his father, said that the family was contacted by a man who claimed he had been held with Madhi in a jail in neighboring Djibouti. The Americans say that Hashi was apprehended in Africa on his way to Yemen.
The FBI claims that Hashi joined with another two men, also on trial, and “participated in weapons and explosives training with members and associates of al Shabaab”. Hashi was also deployed in combat operations to support al Shabaab’s military action in Somalia, says the FBI. The two other men were also said to be apprehended in Africa and are allegedly Swedish citizens. It will be interesting to see if the Swedish government tries to protect their citizens.
This case shows the close collaboration between UK and US intelligence and the sequence of events would indicate that rendition is alive and well even under Obama. Notice that the family was never informed by authorities as to what was happening to their son.