Al-Qaeda biological weapons expert held in Israel for three years
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Al-Qaeda biological weapons expert held in Israel for three years

Al-Barq considered a danger due to concerns he will establish local terror infrastructure; other Arab countries refuse to take him in

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Samar Halmi Abdel Latif Al-Barq, a Kuwaiti citizen of Palestinian descent and an alleged al-Qaeda operative, has been held in administrative detention in Israel since 2010. (photo credit: Screenshot Channel 2)
Samar Halmi Abdel Latif Al-Barq, a Kuwaiti citizen of Palestinian descent and an alleged al-Qaeda operative, has been held in administrative detention in Israel since 2010. (photo credit: Screenshot Channel 2)

An al-Qaeda-trained terrorist and biological weapons expert has been held in administrative detention in Israel for three years due to the danger he poses if allowed to walk free, Israeli media revealed Sunday.

Samar Halmi Abdel Latif Al-Barq, a Kuwaiti citizen of Palestinian descent, was arrested in July 2010 as he crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into Israel, Channel 2 reported.

On Monday, the Supreme Court is due to review an appeal by al-Barq asking to be released to the Palestinian territories — a request the state opposes, arguing that if allowed to go free, he could establish a terror infrastructure in the area. The suspect has appealed for his release several times.

In a document dated December 31, 2012 and signed by the Ministry of Justice’s Human Rights and Foreign Relations Department, it is noted that “several attempts were made to transfer Mr. Al-Barq to several Arab countries, however up to date no Arab country has agreed to accept him.”

Al-Barq was born in 1974 and in 1997 traveled to Pakistan to learn microbiology. According to court documents al-Barq underwent military training in 1998 and then in 2001 was recruited into al-Qaeda by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who now heads the global terror organization.

According to the report, al-Barq was involved in planning attacks on Jews and Israelis in Jordan and also planned to teach Palestinian terrorists how to manufacture poisons.

“He has great knowledge in the field of unconventional weapons, with a focus on biological [weapons],” the State Attorney wrote in his response to the court against al-Barq’s release. “The army command is convinced that his release at this time will be a point of no return for the development of a significant global jihadist infrastructure in the area.”

Al-Barq was arrested by US authorities in Pakistan in 2003 for terrorist activities and questioned for three months before being released to Jordan where he was promptly imprisoned for five years. Following his release, he spent another two years in Jordan before trying to make his way to Israel.

Al-Barq’s attorney, Mohammed Salah, told Channel 2 that he doubts the court will grant his release. He noted that while al-Barq doesn’t deny meeting with al-Qaeda leaders in the past, he insists it was only for the purposes of social activities.

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