Khalid El-Masri (also Khaled El-Masri and Khaled Masri) (born June 29, 1963) is a German citizen who was kidnapped, flown to Afghanistan, interrogated and allegedly tortured by the CIA for several months as a part of the War on Terror. Afterwards he was released. This extrajudicial detention was apparently due to a misunderstanding that arose concerning the similarity of the spelling of El-Masri's name with the spelling of suspected terrorist al-Masri (the names are spelled the same way when using Arabic script).
El-Masri was born in Kuwait to Lebanese parents. He grew up in Lebanon. He based his application for asylum on his membership in "al-Tawhid". He was granted asylum, and in 1994 he obtained German citizenship through previous marriage with a German woman. In 1996, he married a fellow Lebanese and has several children.
El-Masri travelled from his home in Ulm to go on vacation in Skopje at the end of 2003. He was detained by Macedonian border officials on December 31, 2003, because his name was identical (except for variations in Roman transliteration) to that of Khalid al-Masri, an alleged mentor to the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell who has not been apprehended, and because of suspicion that his German passport was a forgery. He was held in a motel in the Republic of Macedonia for over three weeks and questioned about his activities, his associates, and the mosque he attended in Ulm.