FBI pays $2 million to US Muslim in terror-suspect case

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has agreed to pay Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield $2 million as part of a settlement for wrongfully arresting him in connection with the 2004 Madrid terror attacks.

The New York Times reports that the FBI also apologized for its actions and agreed to destroy all materials collected during its electronic surveillance of Mr. Mayfield and secret searches of his home and office. Mayfield is also allowed to continue his lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Patriot Act. He charges that the antiterrorism law violates the Fourth Amendment because is allows for government searches without first establishing “probable cause” of a crime.

Mayfield, an American-born convert to Islam, was put under government surveillance after the FBI mistakenly linked him to the March bombings. He was arrested in May 2004 and held for two weeks as a terrorist suspect, despite evidence from the Spanish government that he was not connected to the attack.

“The horrific pain, torture and humiliation that this has caused myself and my family is hard to put into words,” said Mr. Mayfield, an American-born convert to Islam and a former lieutenant in the Army.

“The days, weeks and months following my arrest,” he said, “were some of the darkest we have had to endure. I personally was subject to lockdown, strip searches, sleep deprivation, unsanitary living conditions, shackles and chains, threats, physical pain and humiliation.”

Christian Science Monitor, 30 November 2006