Shifa Sadequee was born in Reston, Virginia in 1986 and raised in Atlanta, Georgia in a Bangladeshi-American family. The US government started monitoring Sadequee in 2001 when he was just 15 years old for allegedly attempting to join the Taliban while he and his family were living in Bangladesh. In April 2006, at the age of 19 and just days after his marriage, Sadequee was kidnapped and arrested in Bangladesh. The charges against him were that he had made false statements during an August 2005 interview with the FBI. These charges would later be dropped and changed instead to four terrorism charges that included taking “casing videos” of Washington, D.C. landmarks and engaging in “rudimentary paramilitary training” by going to a paintball park in Georgia.
During the time of his kidnapping in Bangladesh and extradition to the United States, his family said he was stripped of his clothes and wrapped in a plastic material and later abused and tortured. Upon his transfer to a prison in Atlanta in the summer of 2006, Sadequee was placed in 23-hour-a-day pre-trial solitary confinement where he remained for three years until his trial began in August 2009. According to his family, his cell was the size of a bathroom and had a very small window which was blackened to prevent light from coming in. He was allowed one hour out of his cell for recreation time spent by himself.
Evidence against Sadequee, who represented himself at trial, was classified and, so, was made inaccessible to him until just a few months before his trial began. Leading up to his trial, government prosecutors requested that no mention of the conditions of Sadequee’s capture, rendition or his pre-trial detention in Bangladesh and the United States be allowed into his trial. The judge allowed for this request. In August 2009, at the age of 23, Sadequee was convicted of providing aid to terrorist groups and sentenced to 17 years in prison plus 30 years probation. He is currently held in a Communication Management Unit at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.