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US Teen Detained in Kuwait Returns Home

Gulet Mohamed, 19, of Alexandria, Virginia, speaks to the media after returning from Kuwait, 21 Jan 2011, at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly

A U.S. teenager, who says he was detained in Kuwait under orders from the United States, has returned home.

Gulet Mohamed, 19, a U.S. citizen who came to the United States from Somalia when he was three, alleged he was tortured while in custody in Kuwait.

He returned to the United States Friday, arriving at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, where his lawyers said he was delayed by U.S. customs agents before reuniting with his family. Customs officials said he was not being questioned, but was being processed for re-entry.

Mohamed said he was beaten by his interrogators in Kuwait, who he said questioned him about his travels to Yemen and Somalia after he left the U.S. in 2009.

He filed a lawsuit days ago against U.S. authorities, alleging they prevented his return home by placing his name on a no-fly list. After the lawsuit was filed, U.S. authorities said they would allow him to fly back.

The lawsuit said Mohamed went overseas to study Arabic and stay with relatives in Somalia and Kuwait. He has denied any link to extremists.

According to the lawsuit, Mohamed was detained last month while trying to renew his visa at the Kuwait International Airport. He said he was approached by two men who handcuffed and blindfolded him and took him in an SUV to an undisclosed location.

Mohamed said he was repeatedly beaten and tortured while detained. The lawsuit said his interrogators hit him in the face with their hands and used sticks to whip him. He said he was also threatened with electrocution.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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