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Lawyer questions handling of terror suspect

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The attorney of a Southern California terrorism suspect is questioning authorities’ handling of his client, who had injuries to his face and head when he was turned over to the FBI by US military officials in Afghanistan.

When Sohiel Omar Kabir arrived in California last week he had a broken facial bone, lacerations, and was suffering from memory loss, according to Jeffrey Aaron, deputy federal public defender.

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‘‘We think a lot of the injuries occurred during his arrest,’’ Aaron told the Long Beach Press Telegram. ‘‘We’re investigating what happened and why he wasn’t hospitalized.’’

Kabir, 34, was captured Nov. 17 by US special forces in Kabul, where he was staying with family members, and held for two weeks by the military before being turned over to the FBI.

FBI spokesman Laura Eimiller said Kabir suffered ‘‘combat-related injuries’’ during his capture. The injuries were treated by American medical personnel, and he was cleared to be taken back to the United States. Kabir, a naturalized US citizen, is the suspected ringleader of a plot to kill Americans and bomb military bases overseas.

He and three other defendants — Ralph Deleon and Arifeen Gojail, both 21, and Miguel Santana Vidriales, 23 — have pleaded not guilty. The three were arrested as they waited to board a plane to meet with Kabir in Afghanistan.

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