Skip to main content

Police: Former Guantanamo detainee among UK terror arrests

By Carol Jordan and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
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
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
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