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Ex-Gitmo inmate faces Syrian terror charges in UK

Saturday - 3/1/2014, 8:14am  ET

FILE - This is a Friday, March 3, 2006. file photo of Moazzam Begg as he gestures during an interview with the Associated Press in London. British police say a former Guantanamo Bay detainee is one of four people arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses. West Midlands Police said Tuesday Feb. 25, 2014 that Moazzam Begg was arrested in the Birmingham area of central England. Police say 45-year-old Begg is suspected of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

LONDON (AP) -- A former Guantanamo Bay detainee and human rights activist was arraigned Saturday in a London court on charges of promoting terrorism in Syria.

Moazzam Begg, a prominent defender of terrorist suspects' rights since his return to Britain in 2005, denied charges that he provided terrorist training and funded overseas terrorism. The 45-year-old was ordered held in custody until his next court appearance March 14.

Begg was arrested Tuesday along with three others in Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city. One, 44-year-old Gerrie Tahari, appeared alongside him in court Saturday and denied a charge of aiding overseas terrorism.

Detectives still are questioning the two others, among them Tahari's 20-year-old son.

Begg was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 as an "enemy combatant." He was held by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and sent a year later to the U.S.-run prison camp in Cuba. He was released without charge in 2005 and now helps to direct a London-based lobbying group called Cage.

Cage branded the charges against Begg as an attempt to silence him.


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