The former imam of Ohio's largest mosque became a man without a country.
Fawaz Damra, now jailed by Israeli authorities, for months sought a nation to accept him following his 2004 conviction for concealing ties to terrorist groups.
But 72 rejected him, leaving him with no choice but to be deported to his native West Bank, which led to his arrest on Jan. 4. His ties to the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, responsible for numerous suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis, made it impossible for Damra to find a new start.
Damra, 46, a Palestinian from the West Bank city of Nablus, was the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, raising three American-born daughters with his wife in suburban Strongsville, when terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
In 2004, he was tried and convicted of concealing ties to terrorist organizations on his citizenship application 10 years earlier.
Stripped of his U.S. citizenship and facing deportation, Damra entered a deal with federal authorities to self-deport, his attorney, Mo Abdrabboh said.
"The reason he agreed to that is he thought he could go to Jordan," Abdrabboh said. "It wasn't taken into account that self-deportation is harder than it seems."
No country would take him. Even Jordan, where he holds citizenship, refused. After his time to self-deport elapsed, he was taken into custody in November 2005, then spent a year in a Michigan jail.
Let that be a lesson to terrorist sympathizers everywhere. The more notorious your support, the more the infidel nations will exclude you, and the less your brother Muslims will want you around to attract attention.
Source: Cincinnati Post