Local Man Stuck In Yemen Returns Home To Va. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Local Man Stuck In Yemen Returns Home To Va.

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By Kavitha Cardoza

A Virginia man whose travels to Yemen caught the attention of the FBI, leaving him stuck in the Middle East since May 4th, is expected to return to the U.S. today.

Yahya Wehelie from Burke, Virginia had gone to Yemen to study Arabic and computers. On his way back he was stopped and told he was on the no fly list. His mother Shamsa Noor says when she heard the news she couldn't stop crying.

"I just want to give him hug. I want to be sure I see him and touch him and that he is here with us," says Noor.

Tom Echikson, Yahyah's lawyer, says the government hasn't given them any reasons as to why Wehelie was stopped or why he has been allowed back to the U.S.

"We do know the government is still interested in talking to Mr. Wehelie and Mr. Wehelie intends to fully cooperate," says Ibrahim Hooper with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group. He says they are asking all Muslim Americans who travel, "to have the phone number of an attorney if they're detained overseas."

The FBI did not return calls for comment but in the past they have said "recent terror plots against U.S. targets are reminders of the need to remain vigilant."

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