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Al-Qaida backer says illness caused by lengthy time in shackles

Sept. 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A convicted al-Qaida backer has sued the United States, telling a New York federal court he suffers deep-vein thrombosis from being shackled for long periods.

Wesam el-Hanafi, an Egyptian-American, claims he was injured after being shackled for three days and nights after he surrendered to U.S. authorities in Dubai, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

He wasn't allowed to use his legs by the FBI during a 14-hour flight back to the United States, the suit adds.

The ailment was diagnosed in 2011, but prison authorities have refused to treat it, el-Hanafi said in the suit seeking unspecified damages.

El-Hanafi, a computer engineer, is awaiting sentencing on his conviction for teaching al-Qaida operatives how to communicate covertly.

In his plea, el-Hanafi admitted to being involved in a conversation about trying to find al-Qaida contacts.

His attorney is seeking a five-year sentence for El-Hanafi. Federal sentencing guidelines call for a possible 20 years.

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