Israeli Court Supports Detention of Alleged Al-Qaida Biowarfare Expert

The Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a request to free an alleged al-Qaida biowarfare specialist, who has been held in custody for more than three years without charges, the New York Times reported.

Trained microbiologist Samer al-Baraq is alleged to have "a rich background in the field of nonconventional weapons, with an emphasis on the biological field," according to court documents offered by Israeli military prosecutors. He was accused of playing a leading role in al-Qaida's biological arms-development effort.

The Kuwaiti-born Palestinian has been in administrative detention since he was arrested in summer 2010 in the West Bank by Israeli authorities.

The Supreme Court turned down al-Baraq's appeal for release on the basis of information received from Israeli security officials about the alleged al-Qaida operative's history including what they asserted were repeated efforts by al-Baraq to enlist Palestinians living in the West Bank in his plans.

The judges said Israel had explored transferring al-Baraq to another nation but were unable to find any state that would accept him.

During an unspecified period of time, al-Baraq was apprehended and interrogated by U.S. officials before he was detained again in Jordan, where he was imprisoned for approximately five years. He ultimately was released and crossed into the West Bank, where shortly thereafter he was arrested by Israeli authorities, according to court documents.

November 20, 2013
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The Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a request to free an alleged al-Qaida biowarfare specialist, who has been held in custody for more than three years without charges, the New York Times reported.

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