Doctor Fakhruddin Attar and wife Farida were arrested Friday near Detroit for conspiring to commit and aiding in female genital mutilation [FGM] of girls as young as six-years-old. The Attars allegedly allowed the procedure to be carried in their Livonia medical clinic. Mrs. Attar even held the hands of the girls screaming in pain.
According to the criminal complaint from the Department of Justice, the couple conspired with Detroit emergency room doctor Jumana Nagarwala. Nagarwale was arrested last week for performing the procedure on a number of girls.
"This investigation has identified other children who may have been cut by Nagarwala at Attar's clinic, MBC, between 2005 and 2017, including children in Michigan. On April 10, 2017, child forensic interviews employed by the FBI and HSI interviewed several minor girls in Michigan. In these interviews, multiple minor girls informed forensic interviewers that procedures had been performed on their genitals by Nagarwala. One minor girl said that Farida was present during the procedure performed by Nagarwala," the complaint states.
Parents of the victims were also interviewed by the FBI and two admitted Nagarwala had performed the procedures on their daughters at the clinic. The others denied any knowledge of the practice, but according to wiretapped conversations between Nagarwala and Mrs. Attar, Nagarwala advised parents to deny knowing about FGM should they be asked by federal law enforcement authorities.
The victims were driven by their parents across state lines for the extreme procedure, many coming from Minnesota. They will likely face a number of charges. The minors were told they were being taken on a "girls trip." Once they arrived at the hotel, they were told they needed to go Nagarwala for a "stomach ache" and FGM was performed to "get the germs out."
During her court appearance earlier this week, Dr. Nagarwala's attorneys denied FGM is mutilation and said the procedure is a basic religious practice.
This conspiracy is the first FGM case in the United States. You can read the entire criminal complaint below.
This post has been updated with additional information.