He was apprehended apparently because of a taped telephone conversation in which the word tayrat, meaning "tires" in colloquial Arabic, was mistaken for a similarly sounding word (with a slightly different "T" sound) meaning "airplanes."
Saidi was imprisoned near Khalid el-Masri during the five months el-Masri was imprisoned in the salt pit, in a prominent instance of mistaken identity.
Saidi said that scars on his wrists were from being suspended from the ceiling by his hands. American officials assert that they stopped using this form of torture after it led to the deaths of two Afghans, Habibullah and Dilawar in Bagram, in December 2002.
Saidi described months of confusing interrogations, during which his interrogators kept insisting that he had spoken cryptically of planes during a telephone conversation. When the tape the Americans had made of this conversation was finally played for him, Saidi described being surprised to realize all these questions and torture were due to a simple misunderstanding, that could have easily been dealt with, without months of torture.
Saidi claims to have spent months in "the dark prison" prior to his detention in the salt pit.
- Craig S. Smith, Souad Mekhennet (2006-07-07). "Algerian Tells of Dark Term in U.S. Hands". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-12-19. http://www.webcitation.org/mainframe.php.
- Jerome Taylor (2006-07-09). "CIA sent me to be tortured in Afghan prison, says Algerian". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2009-12-19. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.independent.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fworld%2Fpolitics%2Fcia-sent-me-to-be-tortured-in-afghan-prison-says-algerian-407133.html&date=2009-12-19.