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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jordan rearrests ex-Gitmo detainee once deemed a 'high' risk -- By Thomas Joscelyn, The Long War Journal

Jordanian authorities have arrested nine members of the Salafi jihadist trend, including a former Guantanamo detainee named Osama Abu Kabir, according to The Jordan Times.

Kabir was first captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 and transferred to Guantanamo in June 2002. He was detained there until November 2007, when he was transferred to Jordan and released. Kabir is known to have resumed his terrorist activities after his release.

According to the US State Department, Kabir was the leader of a terrorist cell in Jordan that plotted "attacks in Israel in retaliation for the Israeli incursion into Gaza." The cell was broken up in 2009 when Kabir and his associates were arrested. Kabir was reportedly sentenced to 15 years in prison, but for some unknown reason was at large until his recent arrest.

Late last year, Al Jazeera reported on its Arabic website that Kabir was wanted by Jordanian authorities once again. At the time, the Jordanians were cracking down on members of the Salafi jihadist trend. One of the members of the trend arrested in the security sweeps is Raed Hijazi, who served time in prison for his role in planned attacks inside Jordan at the turn of the millennium.

Kabir has also been identified as a member of the Salafi jihadist trend. The specific charges against Kabir have not been made public, but his arrest seems to be tied to Jordan's concerns about the jihad in Syria.

One of the other eight members of the trend recently arrested has "alleged ties" to the Al Nusrah Front, which is al Qaeda's official branch in Syria.

The leader of the Salafi jihadist trend has also claimed that the arrests are linked to the fight in Syria. "This campaign of arrests is the latest step by the state to intimidate and prevent Jordanians and other Muslims from defending their brothers in Syria," Mohammed Shalabi (a.k.a. Abu Sayyaf) told The Jordan Times.

Shalabi is well known for his longstanding ties to al Qaeda's operations in Iraq and Syria. He was previously accused of plotting to attack American targets in Jordan.

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