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American Muslim cleric allowed to leave Kenya

Kenya Police said they are not involved in the matter, saying it’s purely an immigration issue/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – A Utah based Muslim leader who had been barred from boarding a return flight from Kenya for several days was finally allowed to return to the United States on Saturday.

According to an article appearing on the Salt Lake Tribune, Yussuf Awadir Abdi is expected to arrive in Salt Lake City at 2 p.m. (11p.m. Kenyan Time) Sunday, where he plans to hold a news conference upon landing to discuss the ordeal, which started Wednesday at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya.

Abdi missed his connecting flight in Los Angeles International Airport where he was unexpectedly searched on Saturday evening, and officials apparently refused to promptly give him his boarding pass, his attorneys said. The delay occurred after Abdi had already passed through customs.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Refugee Justice League of Utah argued in a joint complaint filed Friday that there is “good evidence” Abdi was put on the federal government’s no-fly list after he left the U.S. and was blocked from re-entering.

President Donald Trump’s recent immigration and refugee executive orders sought to temporarily limit travel to the United States and fulfill his campaign promise of a “Muslim ban,” but have been blocked by the courts.

It’s unclear why Kenyan officials kept Abdi from his flight because Kenya is also not one of the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted by Trump executive orders.

Kenya Police said they are not involved in the matter, saying it’s purely an immigration issue.

Abdi, who is an American citizen and imam of Madina Masjid in Salt Lake City had travelled to Kenya to pick his wife and children to the US, but he was stopped when trying to board a plane.

The Council, in its suit, has named the FBI, the Terrorism Screening Centre (TSC) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), all agencies of the US as defendants.

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