UK police arrest ex-Guantanamo detainee over Syria
The Associated Press
LONDON — A former Guantanamo Bay detainee who is a well-known advocate for the rights of terrorism suspects was arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses, British police said Tuesday.
West Midlands Police said Moazzam Begg was one of four people arrested in the Birmingham area of central England.
Police said Begg, 45, is suspected of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas.
He was arrested along with a 44-year-old woman, her 20-year-old son, and a 36-year-old man, who are all suspected of facilitating terrorism overseas. Their names were not released.
Police in Britain do not usually name suspects until they are charged. The force said it was identifying Begg to the media "as a result of the anticipated high public interest."
The four suspects were being questioned at a Birmingham police station, while counterterrorism officers searched their homes.
Begg was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and sent to the U.S. prison camp in Cuba.
After his release in 2005 he became a director of the advocacy group Cage, which campaigns against alleged abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism. He is a well-known figure who appears frequently in British media.
Cage had no comment Tuesday.
British intelligence officials say hundreds of Britons are estimated to have traveled to Syria to join the battle against the forces of President Bashar Assad. Britain and other European governments have expressed concern about the potential domestic threat posed by battle-hardened fighters returning from Syria.