Three Middle Eastern men who were arrested and later had charges against them dropped over a brief terrorism scare at the Port of Miami on Sunday said they were unfairly targeted because of their ethnicity and creed.

Amar Al-Hadad said he was “humiliated, disrespected (and) treated real badly just because my name is an Arabic name and I’m a Muslim.”

The Iraqi-born Al-Hadad cried during the Monday news conference in which he described the way he, his brother, Hussain Al Hadad, and friend, Hassan El Sayed, were treated.

“We were treated like animals,” El Sayed said.

Officials initially said the men, all permanent U.S. residents, had been caught trying to slip past a checkpoint at the port’s entrance. . .

Amar and Hussain Al Hadad were both charged with resisting arrest; Hussain Al Hadad was also charged with trespassing, as was El Sayed, a Lebanese national. A judge dismissed the charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Amar Al-Hadad said his driver’s license hadn’t been returned and wasn’t sure which law enforcement agency had it. The three men were detained by the FBI and released before being charged by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

“We demand the return of those IDs as soon as possible so that they can go about their lives in a normal fashion,” said Areeb Naseer, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The three men said they were considering filing a lawsuit.


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