US apologises to Emirati 'mistakenly arrested' for IS links

US apologises to Emirati 'mistakenly arrested' for IS links
The US deputy ambassador to the UAE has apologised over the wrongful arrest of an Emirati man who was mistaken for an IS extremist during a US visit.
2 min read
04 July, 2016
Citizens have been urged to avoid wearing the Emirati national dress abroad [Getty]

A senior US diplomat has apologised over the arrest of an Emirati man who was pinned to the ground by armed police in the United States over terror accusations.

Ethan Goldrich, the US deputy ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, pledged to get clarifications from authorities in the state of Ohio.

The UAE had summoned Goldrich to protest the "abusive treatment" of a UAE citizen as it advised citizens to avoid wearing national attire abroad.

The Emirati foreign ministry expressed "discontent" to the US diplomat and demanded clarifications over the detention of the Emirati businessman, who was suspected of being an extremist.

The ministry also expressed "discontent over the abusive treatment by the Ohio police of a UAE citizen" as well as the posting of a video showing his arrest, which contained "defamation of the UAE national".

"The UAE cares for the safety of its citizens and, therefore, demands clarifications about this incident," it said in a statement carried by WAM state news agency.

The ministry has also issued a statement urging citizens "not to wear the national dress during their travel, especially in public areas, to ensure their own safety".

The 41-year-old, visiting the United States for medical treatment, was wearing a white robe and Arab headdress on Wednesday when he was arrested at a hotel in Cleveland, Ohio after an employee suspected he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, apparently in a phone call.

A video of the incident, posted on YouTube, shows several policemen armed with rifles take down Ahmed al-Menhali, and then handcuff and search him.

"They were brutal with me. They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest," Menhali said, quoted in Emirati website The National.

After confirming that Menhali posed no danger, the policemen released the Emirati man, who said he collapsed and needed treatment in hospital.

Anti-Muslim incidents have spiked in the United States on the back of deadly IS attacks in the West that prompted presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.