Brandon Mayfield

From Academic Kids

Brandon Mayfield (born 1966) is an attorney at law with a practice in Washington County, Oregon and is best known for being erroneously linked to the 11 March, 2004 Madrid attacks. He was arrested Thursday, May 6, 2004 at his offices in West Slope, an unincorporated suburb of Portland, Oregon, as a material witness by the FBI in connection with the Madrid attacks.

Mayfield was born in Coos Bay, Oregon, but grew up in Halstead, Kansas. He served in the US Army Reserve from 1985 to 1989; he later served as an officer with the Army in Bitburg, Germany from 1992 to 1994. He met Mona, an Egyptian national and the daughter of a college professor, on a blind date in 1987, and converted to Islam following his marriage to her shortly afterwards. While he was a regular worshipper at the Beaverton mosque, his colleagues were unaware of his religious beliefs. The president of the mosque has described Mayfield as "very patriotic".

He studied law at Washburn University and Lewis and Clark College, receiving his law degree from Washburn in 1999, and practicing family law in Newport, before moving to the Portland area. Mayfield performed work for the Modest Means Program of the Oregon State Bar, which matches attorneys who are willing to work at reduced rates with low-income clients. In 2003 he offered legal aid to Jeffrey Leon Battle, one of the Portland Seven, a group of people was convicted of trying to travel to Afghanistan to help the Taliban. Battle at the time was involved in a child custody case.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Mayfield was concerned for the safety of his children and wife, and according to his father, he suspected that he was under surveillance by the federal authorities. In the weeks before his arrest, Mayfield's family was under the impression that their house had been broken into twice, although nothing was stolen.

A bag containing detonating devices, found by Spanish authorities following the Madrid commuter train bombings, had fingerprints that were initially identified by the FBI as belonging to Mayfield. The FBI then arrested Mayfield, and he was at first held at a Multnomah County jail under a false name; he was later transferred to an unidentified location. His family protested that Mayfield had no connection with the bombings, nor has been to Spain in over 11 years.

Following his arrest, the Spanish authorities relayed their increasing doubts that the fingerprint on the bag was actually his to the FBI, yet the American law enforcement organization kept him imprisoned. On May 21 the Spanish authorities at last announced that the fingerprints actually belonged to an Algerian national, Ouhnane Daoud; within two hours, Mayfield was released from custody and returned home, although a gag order remained in force for the next few days. By May 25, the case was dismissed by the judge, who ordered the return of seized evidence and unsealing of documents pertaining to his arrest.

Since his release, Mayfield has announced his intention of suing the US government for wrongful arrest.

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