Lebanese newspaper As Safir reported that former USF adjunct professor Mazen Al-Najjar was deported from Lebanon Wednesday.
The report stated the intended destination was Tehran, Iran.
Al-Najjar was deported from the United States in late August after spending much of the last five years behind bars. The U.S. government held him on what was termed “secret evidence” that allegedly linked him to the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad.
Upon his deportation, Al-Najjar was escorted overseas on a private jet by Immigration and Naturalization Services officials. Bahrain refused to allow the jet to land after learning that Al-Najjar was aboard.
The jet finally ended up in Lebanon, where Al-Najjar was “dumped.”
Lebanese officials immediately began investigating the incident while Al-Najjar reportedly stayed with his sister in Beirut.
And now, if he has entered Iran as reported, Al-Najjar is in a country listed as one of President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil.”
Sami Al-Arian, Al-Najjar’s brother-in-law, confirmed Thursday that the deportation had taken place. He said, however, he had not talked to Al-Najjar, and did not know which country he ended up in.
Al-Arian said Al-Najjar’s family had known a deportation was eminent for nearly two weeks. He said the original date for the action was postponed because the family could not find a country that would accept the stateless Palestinian.
Al-Arian said Lebanon’s patience ran out this week.
“They had been pressuring him. We hadn’t been able to find him a country,” Al-Arian said. “They told him what they were going to do and yesterday they did it.”
Fedaa Al-Najjar, wife of Al-Najjar, said she did not know anything about the deportation. She said she attempted to call Al-Arian, but due to the fact that he had been traveling home from a speaking engagement in California, she was having difficulty reaching him. No other family members, she said, were aware of Lebanon’s action.
“I had no idea,” Mrs. Al-Najjar said. “Nobody called me and told me anything.”