Sunday, Dec 13th, 2009
Mohammed Ezzouek began to pray. He believed his death was imminent and that it would be bloody and brutal. The 23-year-old from west London could hear men talking in Somali. “They were saying: ‘You lot are al-Qaida’ and laughing,” he recalls. “They were saying, ‘You lot are going to get it’.”
Ezzouek had had little idea what was happening to him as he and 15 or so other men had their hands tied behind their backs and were bundled onto a plane that left the Kenyan capital Nairobi in the dead of night. By the time the plane had landed just after sunrise, Ezzouek had managed to work his blindfold free an inch.
He saw men with rows of “bullets strapped along their chests”, carrying “big guns”. “I remember seeing through the window some guys lying down on the runway, their eyes blindfolded and their hands tied. It was like a scene in a film where people have already been executed. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re going to kill us.’ Everyone thought they were going to die so I started praying. There was nothing you could do; there was no point in crying.”
Ezzouek wondered whether this country in which they had landed – and in which he thought he was going to die – was Ethiopia or Somalia. He thought of his family back in Britain. He could have been forgiven for wishing he had agreed to the deal the British agents had offered him just days before in Nairobi. On several occasions, they promised him: “Confess to being a terrorist and you can return to the UK.”
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This article was posted: Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 6:32 am