Samer Halmi Abdel Latif Al-Barq, the Al Qaeda terrorist Israel has been holding for three years, needs to remain in jail, the State told the High Court on Monday. Al-Barq, through an attorney, petitioned the Court to be released, because after such a long incarceration, he did not pose a threat to anyone.
Al-Barq, 39, whose incarceration was revealed Sunday as a result of the petition's filing, was born in Kuwait to a family that left Israel when the state was established. In the past, he was incarcerated by both the U.S. and Jordan, but subsequently released. He lived for several years in Pakistan, where he reportedly helped develop biological weapons. And for the past two decades he has been close to the top brass in Al Qaeda, including Osama Bin-Laden and current top Al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, who recruited him for the group.
Al-Barq has been in an Israeli prison since 2010, under administrative detention orders, meaning that he can be remanded indefinitely if it is believed that he poses a serious security threat.
Al-Barq has yet to be charged with a specific crime in Israel. His attorney told the Court that three years was enough time for the State to have developed a case against his client, and if has not been charged with anything at this point, he should be released to Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, where his family currently lives.
“The State makes a ridiculous claim, saying that he has become more dangerous than in the past – in other words, he became more dangerous while in prison,” Al-Barq's attorney told the Court.
In response, the State said that Al-Barq was a danger to Israel's security, who would remain a danger even if he were deported to another country, all the more so if he were released to the PA.
Al-Barq was arrested by Israel in 2010 when he attempted to enter Israel via the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan, after Amman expelled him from the country. He was apparently involved in planning a large-scale terrorist attack targeting Jewish tourists in Jordan, and had planned to train other terrorists to produce lethal toxins for an unconventional attack inside Israel.