updated 4/23/2009 5:31:37 PM ET 2009-04-23T21:31:37

A Tunisian man claims he was tortured by the CIA eight months before a Justice Department memo sanctioned the practice.

Rafiq Alhami makes his claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Newark.

The suit claims Alhami was kicked, punched, threatened with dogs and kept shackled in painful positions at three secret CIA sites in Afghanistan in 2001.

The suit also claims the torture continued at the U.S. Naval station at Guantanamo Bay, where he is still being held.

Alhami was detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but denies being connected to terrorist groups.

The suit names former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former CIA Director George Tenet, among others. It seeks damages of $10 million.

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