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Mon 4 Jul 2016 10:16 AM

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US city mayor, police chief apologise to Emirati accused of supporting ISIL

Woman who made the false claim could face criminal charges, according to US media reports

US city mayor, police chief apologise to Emirati accused of supporting ISIL
Avons mayor and police chief are meeting with the man wrongfully accused of pledging allegiance to ISIS - a hotel clerk called 911 on the man Wednesday.

A UAE citizen who was pinned to the ground by armed police in the US over terror accusations has received an apology from the city’s mayor and police chief.

Ahmad Al Menhali, 41, from Abu Dhabi, was approached by officers carrying assault rifles outside a hotel in Avon, Ohio, after falsely being accused of supporting terror group ISIL.

Al Menhali collapsed and was taken to hospital immediately after the incident.

Police had reportedly been called by a sister of a clerk at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, after the clerk claimed Al Menhali, wearing traditional Arab clothing and speaking on his mobile phone in Arabic at the time of the incident, had pledged allegiance to ISIL.

The woman who made the false claim could face criminal charges, according to US media reports.

Al Menhali attended a face-to-face meeting at the Cleveland office of The Council on American-Islamic Relations, reported local media.

"No one from the police department [wanted] to disrespect you," Police Chief Richard Bosley told Al Menhali.

"That was not the intent of any of our officers. It is a very regrettable circumstance that occurred for you. You should not have been put in that situation like you were."

The news site also of a later meeting where Avon officials offered their apologies:

[youtubevideo-0vCjewc1Suw]

"There were some false accusations made against you," said Mayor Brian Jensen. "And those are regrettable. I hope ... the person that made those can maybe learn from those."

Al Menhali described the actions of police as “brutal” and said he initially thought the incident was a training exercise.

“They were brutal with me," he said, reported The National. “They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest.

“I didn’t think they were there for me. I assumed there was some sort of training exercise or event at the hotel but I was shocked to see them barge at me."

The incident was followed by a tweet from the UAE Foreign Ministry, urging UAE citizens not to wear national dress when travelling abroad.