SWEDISH TEEN: U.S. TROOPS LED OPERATION
A Swedish teenager who was imprisoned for weeks with alleged terror suspects in Ethiopia said in an interview published Thursday that Americans in military uniform directed the Kenyan soldiers who took her into custody on the Somali-Kenyan border.
The statements by 17-year-old Safia Benaouda were the first to describe a broader U.S. role in the detentions. Other detainees have said they were taken into custody by Kenyans and transferred to Ethiopia, a U.S. counterterrorism ally.
Benaouda said three men in U.S. uniforms led the Kenyan troops who detained her and other women and children fleeing Somalia on Jan. 18.
“After the American soldiers had detained us they kept in the background, but it was very clear that they were the ones in charge,” Benaouda, who was freed from an Ethiopian prison March 27, was quoted as saying by the Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet.