Egyptian student Emad Al-Sayed, who was detained in the United States on charges related to putative threats levelled against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, will return to Egypt within 10 days.
The charges against Al-Sayed were reportedly dropped. However, his student visa has since been revoked.
Al-Sayed’s defence lawyer Hani Bushra told Daily News Egypt that Al-Sayed voluntarily chose to leave the US to avoid further time spent in detention. Bushra asserted that “no deportation order was issued against him [Al-Sayed]” by immigration authorities.
Nevertheless, the decision to cancel his visa may harm Al-Sayed’s prospects of being a pilot, as it will be difficult to travel to the US; he may also face difficulties or restrictions in obtaining a visa to travel to other countries.
Members of Al-Sayed’s family, including his parents, appeared in a televised interview with TV anchor Ahmed Moussa and defended their son’s actions, clarifying that he does not have any political affiliation or history of aggression. Rather, they claimed that he was expressing his opinion. His younger sister, Ohoud Ali, spoke to Daily News Egypt previously in a phone interview in which she supported her family’s statements. She added that her brother’s post was taken down after the FBI became involved.
According to the court documents, it was the president of the Los Angeles flight school, which Al-Sayed was attending, who reported the Egyptian student’s Facebook post to the FBI on 3 February. The FBI then passed the case over to agents who are assigned to protect Trump, Bushra said.
On 4 and 5 February, agents interviewed Al-Sayed twice and inspected his home and computer. The US attorney’s office decided not to press charges against Al-Sayed. Therefore, on 11 February, the agents went to Khatib and pressured him to expel the student from the institution, meaning that his visa would be automatically revoked as he only held a study permit, according to Al-Sayed’s family.
Al-Sayed’s family stated that their son received a call to come in to the academy the following day at which point he was arrested and taken to Orange County jail where he is currently being held.
Al-Sayed’s lawyer alleges that his client was given a document by immigration authorities which claimed that his consulate was not allowed to interfere in the juridical process. Al-Sayed signed this document.
After Bushra was appointed as the student’s lawyer, he solicited the aide of the Egyptian consulate in Los Angeles. Despite reports in Egyptian media stating that the consulate showed negligence in their handling of Al-Sayed’s case, Bushra stated that the consulate worked to resolve the case.
Al-Sayed has been transferred to a better cell following a discussion with the government attorney, the lawyer said.
According to his lawyer, Al-Sayed was previously held in another cell without a blanket or sheets for his bedding. He was also prevented from receiving visits from media personnel and was only allowed to meet his lawyer for 45 minutes at a time.
Al-Sayed was arrested for a post which he made on his Facebook page that stated that he is “willing to kill” Donald Trump, and “does not mind serving a life sentence” and that “the whole world would thank him for this”, according to the lawyer.
The student wrote this post following comments Donald Trump made during the current Republican primary campaign in which he called for all Muslims to be banned from entering the US.
Al-Sayed, 23, is an Egyptian national who travelled to the US in September 2015 to study at the Universal Air Academy in California, after leaving his studies at the faculty of engineering at a private university.