Israel 'holding suspected Qaeda activist since 2010'

Israel 'holding suspected Qaeda activist since 2010'
File photo shows Israeli soldiers standing guard.

JERUSALEM - Israel has been secretly holding a suspected Al-Qaeda activist without trial for more than three years, legal documents showed on Monday after the suspect petitioned a court for his release.

According to court documents seen by AFP, the Israeli security establishment told the high court it believed that Samer Al-Barq is "an activist in the global terror group Al-Qaeda, with extensive knowledge in non-conventional arms, especially biological weapons".

His petition to be released from administrative detention should be rejected by the court, since he would significantly boost the development of "global jihad" infrastructure in the region if freed, the documents said.

Under what Israel calls "administrative detention", suspects can be imprisoned without trial by order of a military court. Such orders can be renewed indefinitely for up to six months at a time.

The documents said Barq, born in 1974, studied microbiology in Pakistan in 1997.

In 1998 he received military training in Afghanistan, and in 2001 was recruited to Al-Qaeda and acquired "knowledge and experience" in non-conventional weaponry.

In its response to Barq's request, the state notes that he was imprisoned in Jordan between 2003-2008 for "terror activity" and involvement in an Al-Qaeda biological weapon project.

He was expelled from Jordan on July 11, 2010 and was arrested at the Allenby border crossing while trying to enter Israel.

Barq's petition for release was due to be heard on Monday.

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