A longtime aide to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan who was accused of having ties to drugs and terrorism was released by Guyanese authorities Friday and demanded an official apology from the government.
Akbar Muhammad told The Associated Press that police questioned him for several hours about allegations that he came to Guyana to organize a terrorist plot with the help of local activists. He called the accusation ludicrous.
"It was a total disinformation campaign," he said in a telephone interview. "They had a political reason for doing that. ... It's another attempt by some entity to try and hurt Minister Farrakhan and his reputation."
Muhammad has worked with Farrakhan since the 1960s and is the international representative for the Nation of Islam.
He arrived in Guyana earlier this week and was detained early Thursday when police raided the Princess Hotel in the capital, Georgetown.
Muhammad said he was in Guyana to do humanitarian work and had been talking to children about drugs and education.
He said Farrakhan spoke to Guyana's president, Bharrat Jagdeo, shortly before the release. That information could not be independently confirmed. A message left with a government spokesman was not immediately returned.
"For somebody to accuse me of organizing a terrorist plot is completely insane," Muhammad said. "For me to be in drug trafficking, that is unbelievable. I can't believe it."
Muhammad said his detainment brought embarrassment and shame to his family.
"I am very disturbed by it," he said. "What I need is an official apology from the government."
Muhammad declined further comment and said he would be speaking with his lawyer about the case.
Earlier Friday, police had taken Muhammad back to his hotel so he could retrieve heart medications before returning to police headquarters where he was being questioned.
Assistant Police Commissioner Seelal Persaud said Thursday that he had information linking Muhammad to drugs and terrorism.
Persaud has declined further comment, except to say that a Canadian-Guyanese citizen, Phillip Muhammad, also was detained during Thursday's raid on the hotel. It was unclear if he also had been released.