Lawyer confirms Abu Omar is in Egyptian jail
(ANSA) – Cairo, April 7 – A Muslim cleric allegedly kidnapped by the CIA in Milan in 2003 has asked authorities in Egypt, where he is incarcerated, to be allowed to return to Italy .
Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, who is usually known as Abu Omar, claims he has Italian citizenship and has requested legal assistance from Italy, his Egyptian lawyer Montasser el Zayat told ANSA .
Abu Omar, the former imam of Milan’s main mosque, lived in the northern city with his Albanian wife and their two children until disappearing mysteriously on February 17, 2003. At the time he was being probed by Milan prosecutors for suspected links to international terrorism .
Prosecutors say he was abducted by the CIA as part of its covert program – called ‘extraordinary rendition’ – in which suspected terrorists are transferred without court approval to third countries for interrogation .
Although Abu Omar has long been assumed to be in Egypt, this was only confirmed in recent days, when Cairo daily El Masri el Yom cited Egyptian security sources as saying that he was currently being interrogated.