A British human rights group expressed "outrage" today after one of its high-profile directors, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg, was arrested in London on suspicion of terrorist activity in Syria.
"We are disgusted that Moazzam Begg is being re-traumatized with the same guilt by association accusations that resulted in his unlawful incarceration in Guantanamo Bay. We fully support our colleague and see his arrest as politically motivated and as part of a campaign to criminalize legitimate activism," Asim Qureshi, a senior official at CAGE, said in a statement.
Begg was arrested by British authorities with three other suspects based on unspecified intelligence, police said. None have been charged with a crime.
Begg has leveraged the country's libel laws against critics who have accused him of being a terrorist or sympathizer to al Qaeda, leaving many hesitant to comment publicly on his arrest for suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp in Syria. But security sources in London told ABC News that the arrest of Begg -- who CAGE said had suffered after three years spent in American terrorist prisons in Afghanistan and in Cuba -- was a gamble for the UK government because of his outspokenness in alleging past U.S. and British persecution. Sources speculated that it is likely the police have built a convincing case or they wouldn't have risked public blowback or embarrassment.
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