Skip to main content

Police: Former Guantanamo detainee among UK terror arrests

By Carol Jordan and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 12:41 PM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police: Moazzam Begg is among four arrested on suspicion of Syria-related offenses
  • Police: He's suspected of attending a terrorist training camp, aiding overseas terrorism
  • Begg spent nearly three years at Bagram airbase and the Guantanamo Bay prison camp
  • He was released in 2005 and sent back to Britain

London (CNN) -- A former Guantanamo Bay detainee from Britain is among four people arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses, UK counterterror police said Tuesday.

Moazzam Begg, from Hall Green in Birmingham, is "suspected of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas," a statement from West Midlands Police said.

The three other suspects -- a man, 36, a woman, 44, and her son, 20, all from Birmingham -- were detained on suspicion of facilitating terrorism overseas, police said.

"All four arrests are connected. They were preplanned and intelligence led. There was no immediate risk to public safety," said Det. Superintendent Shaun Edwards of West Midlands Police.

A police forensic tent sits in the garden of Moazzam Begg\'s house in Birmingham, England.
A police forensic tent sits in the garden of Moazzam Begg's house in Birmingham, England.
Prisoner's-eye-view of Guantanamo

Officers are carrying out searches at properties connected to the suspects and vehicles and electronic equipment are being removed for forensic analysis, authorities said.

The suspects have not been charged with any offense.

Begg was arrested as a suspected al Qaeda member in Pakistan in February 2002 and was held at the U.S. airbase at Bagram, Afghanistan, before being sent to the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Begg spent nearly three years in custody. He was sent back to Britain by the Bush administration in early 2005 and was never prosecuted.

He co-authored a book about his experiences at Guantanamo Bay in 2006 and has appeared as a public speaker and commentator in Britain and overseas since his release.

READ: Amanpour blog: Former Guantanamo prisoner befriends jailers

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
updated 6:32 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
ISIS has slaughtered hundreds. Now nearly 40 nations have agreed to take the fight to the militants. But what can they do?
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A number of Paralympic athletes in Ghana are hoping to use sport to change negative public perceptions.
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT