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Kenyan authorities release Utah Muslim cleric

The Muslim cleric from Utah, United States who was barred boarding a return flight home and briefly detained in Nairobi left the country on Saturday night.

This is according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The Salt Lake Tribune, has also reported that Yussuf Awadir Abdi is expected to arrive in Salt Lake City at 2 pm (11pm Kenyan Time) on Sunday.

The reports also indicated that the cleric plans to hold a news conference upon arrival to recount his ordeal, which started Wednesday at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.


The imam of Madina Masjid in Salt Lake City, Utah, traveled to Kenya to pick his family but was prevented from boarding a plane while his family was allowed.

Qatar Airlines employees told him he couldn’t board because the US wouldn’t accept him, said attorney Jim McConkie, co-founder of the justice league.

Abdi has been an American citizen since 2010, living in Utah for the past six years. His wife and two of his children have American visas while his three other children are legal immigrants.

It’s unclear why Kenyan officials barred the cleric from his flight and later detained.

However, the Nation has established that the cleric was flagged because US authorities established he had been funding organisation in Kenya that were on terrorism watch list.