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Deported from the US to a Somali danger zone

July 4, 2018
Credit: BBC

The sun was burning brightly when Ahmed arrived in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on a deportation flight from the US earlier this year. The tropical trees swayed slowly in the warm wind, oblivious to his anxiety and the torturous months that led to this moment.

It was a city this 32-year-old man had last seen as a 10-year-old boy.

"It was surreal. On the one hand: 'I am free'. But on the other: 'I am here,'" he says.

Released in March from immigration detention, where disease and threats were allegedly rife, he had been sent to a city ravaged by decades of civil war and terror.

He told me his story but asked for his real name to be withheld as he feared being targeted by the Islamist al-Shabab group because of his work warning young people in the US about the dangers of recruitment by Somali militants.

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