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Former UK Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg charged with Syria terror offenses

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 7:53 PM EST, Sun March 2, 2014
Former Guantanamo Bay detainee British citizen Moazzam Begg, pictured here at a 2012 press conference, is accused of providing instruction and training for terrorism and funding terrorism overseas.
Former Guantanamo Bay detainee British citizen Moazzam Begg, pictured here at a 2012 press conference, is accused of providing instruction and training for terrorism and funding terrorism overseas.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Moazzam Begg appears in court charged with providing training for terrorism
  • NEW: Begg denies that charge and another of funding terrorism overseas
  • NEW: A 44-year-old woman also denies a charge of funding terrorism overseas
  • Begg spent nearly three years in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay

London (CNN) -- A former Guantanamo Bay detainee from Britain appeared in a London court Saturday, charged with Syria-related terrorism offenses, UK police said.

Moazzam Begg, 45, from Birmingham, is accused of providing instruction and training for terrorism and funding terrorism overseas, West Midlands Police said.

A 44-year-old woman, Gerrie Tahari, also from Birmingham, is also accused of funding terrorism overseas.

Both suspects, who were arrested Tuesday and charged late Friday, denied the charges at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Prisoner's-eye-view of Guantanamo

They were remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey criminal court in London on March 14.

Two other men, aged 20 and 36, who were also arrested on Tuesday remain in custody, the police said.

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

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