American Detained, Tortured in UAE at U.S. Govt's Behest, ACLU Says

"There is strong evidence that U.S. officials not only sought Hamdan's arrest by a foreign government, but apparently participated in his interrogation and torture in violation of federal criminal law," said Ahilan Arulanantham, an American Civil Liberties Union staff lawyer representing Hamdan through his brother and wife.

"We hope that the Obama Administration will do the right thing and work to ensure Hamdan's safe release from custody," Arulanantham added.

The Department of Justice has denied that U.S. authorities had anything to do with the detention of Hamdan.

Brad Garrett, former FBI agent and now an ABC News consultant, said that the majority of information the FBI would gather on someone like Hamdan would come from wiretapping his cell phone and home phone. He said they also commonly send sources or undercover agents with wires to talk to the person and possibly use surveillance videos.

"People get jammed up because of who they associate with and not what they do," said Garrett, who added that it is not uncommon for agents to fly overseas to question someone.

DOJ Moved to Have Case Thrown Out

Garrett said law enforcement agencies often work with other nations, especially friendly ones, and ask them to help with surveillance of a person they have been watching.

However, he said, the FBI cannot ask a foreign agency to use tactics that are illegal in this country: "It would have been against the rules for an FBI agent to even be in the room during an interview like that." He noted that just because the English-speaking person Hamdan heard sounded American, "we don't know if he was FBI."

The DOJ moved to have the case thrown out, citing in court documents that the U.S. does not have jurisdiction in the UAE, and that the FBI denied requesting the UAE to detain Hamdan or interrogate him while he has been in UAE custody.

The FBI said that it does not "ask other countries to detain U.S. citizens on our behalf" in order to circumvent their rights. "As to any ongoing lawsuit we have no comment," FBI spokesman Richard Kolko told ABC

Steven Pike, U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer in Abu Dhabi, said the Embassy is in contact with Hamdan and is "carrying out normal consular responsibilities."

Pike said he cannot comment further on the case because the state department does not have a Privacy Act Waiver that authorizes him to speak to the media.

The UAE Embassy in Washington, DC declined to comment, citing that this is a "police/security" matter.

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