An Israeli military prosecutor requested the Supreme Court on Monday extend by six months the administrative detention of a Kuwaiti Palestinian suspected of terrorist affiliations with al-Qaeda and held secretly in Israeli detention since 2010.
The hearing was the first official confirmation that Israel is holding Samar Halmi Abdel Latif Al-Barq, who was arrested in July 2010 as he crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into Israel.
His arrest was first reported by Channel 2 on Sunday.
Responding to Al-Barq’s appeal to the Supreme Court to be released, the Israeli military prosecutor admitted that an administrative detention lasting three-and-a-half years is indeed long — but justified, given the danger Al-Barq poses to regional security.
“We argue that the danger posed by the petitioner to regional security is greater than the period of his arrest,” argued attorney Aner Helman. “This man’s level of danger is proven by the fact that he has been in detention for three-and-a-half years. We may well ask for another extension.”
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; in 2001, he 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.
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.
Saleh Mahamid, Al-Barq’s attorney, told the court on Monday that his client could not be dangerous, since he had been released from arrest by the Americans after just three months in detention in Pakistan in 2003.
Al-Barq argued that he was handed over to the Israeli authorities by the Jordanian intelligence in 2010 and questioned by the Shin Bet before his arrest.