Melvindale man moved to maximum security prison in Saudi Arabia after losing temper at Kaaba

‘Mohammed Salem has been moved to Dhahban Central Prison’

MELVINDALE, Mich. – There is growing concern Tuesday for Mohammed Salem, the Melvindale man that was arrested during a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last week.

Salem traveled to the middle east to visit the Kaaba, a sacred building in Mecca when an argument in line led to his arrest, and now Local 4 has learned that he’s been moved to a higher-security prison.

“Since we last spoke, Salem has been moved to Dhahban Central Prison, which is a maximum security prison which is known to house terrorists,” said attorney Abdallah Moughni. “This has truly gotten worse as time has gone on.”

Read: Melvindale man arrested during pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia after losing temper at Kaaba

Moughni met with the Melvindale family of Salem every day and he says they are terrified as their 63-year-old father has been arrested and jailed in Saudi Arabia despite never being charged with a crime.

Contact with him has been cut off, and he’s been moved to a prison for terrorists, all over a comment he made about burning the country down after he lost his temper in a security line.

Tweets in Saudi Arabia reported Salem’s arrest read that Saudi soldiers thwarted a terror plot.

“From the Saudi perspective, they caught a terrorist,” Moughni said. “They had somebody who was plotting against the government, and they thwarted it. But that is not the case at all. Mohammed was a visitor trying to have a spiritual journey at Hajj. He lost his temper, and unfortunately, he said something that he probably shouldn’t have, and because of that, he is facing some of the most dire consequences anyone on earth could face.”

Moughni continued:

“They did not expect it to get this bad. They were kind of just hoping once the Saudi Arabia government had realized the severity of whether Mohammed is a threat that, he would be released, but it has just gotten worse over time. They are assuming the worst may happen.”

The highest levels of the United States Government are now working to get Mohammed back home to his 10 children.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.