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Report: Israel secretly holding suspected al-Qaeda man

Israel implements a policy by which suspected militants are jailed without trial, based on evidence presented in a closed military court

Published: Updated:

Israel has secretly detained a suspected al-Qaeda biological weapons expert for more than three years, court documents disclosed on Monday, after the man appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court to free him, Reuters reported.

Samer al-Baraq who studied microbiology in Pakistan, went into military training in Afghanistan and was recruited in 2001 to join al-Qaeda by Ayman al-Zawahri, the group's leader, Israeli prosecutors said in documents seen by Reuters.

They prosecutors also said he was planning attacks against Israelis.

But 39-year old al-Baraq, has not been charged and has been held since 2010 in administrative detention.

Israel implements a policy by which suspected militants are jailed without trial, based on evidence presented in a closed military court.

Israel says the practice pre-empts militant attacks against it while keeping its counter-intelligence sources
and tactics secret. In October, al-Baraq appealed to Israel's Supreme Court to end his military detention, according to Reuters

Asked if his client denied the allegations against him, al-Baraq's lawyer, Mahmid Saleh, told Army Radio: “If he is such a senior terrorist, then why hasn't he been prosecuted? There is no evidence against him,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

Al-Baraq was once detained and questioned in the United States and was later jailed in Jordan for five years. He was arrested in 2010 when trying to enter Israel from neighboring Jordan, according to a court document.

Israel's prosecution said letting Baraq go would endanger the entire region. The Supreme Court was due to hold a hearing in the case later on Monday, Reuters reported.

(With Reuters)