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Family Al Qaeda Terrorist Held by Israel Denies Charges

Terrorist's mother claims son 'just wanted to study microbiology'; officials say he planned to release anthrax into urban center.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 11/19/2013, 11:31 AM

Illustration: Islamist fighters in N. Africa
Illustration: Islamist fighters in N. Africa
Reuters

The mother of Samer Halmi Abdel Latif Al-Barq, the Senior al-Qaeda terrorist revealed to have been held in Israel for the past three years, has insisted in an interview with Israeli media that her son was "never" involved in building biochemical weapons. 

Al-Barq, 39, was detained by security forces as he attempted to enter Israel from Jordan via the Allenby Bridge. He faces allegations of planning a large-scale biological weapons attack against Jews via Jordan, and officials say he had elaborate plans to recruit a suicide bomber to release anthrax in a major urban center. 

Al-Barq's family - Kuwaiti nationals - lives in the Palestinian Authority settlement of Jayyous, near Qalqiliya. While reports have been surfacing across the nation of her son's capture, Al-Barq's mother vigilantly denies his involvement, Channel 10 / Nana revealed Monday. 

"I know my son," Al-Barq's mother claims. "If he only got the chance to say his side of the story, there would be no reason to continue the administrative detention he is in now." 

Al-Barq's family claims that the terrorist's odyssey from Arab country to Arab country was a quest to learn the best biology at local universities - nothing more. In his youth, he left Kuwait for Pakistan, ostensibly to study, then continued to Afghanistan.

There, officials say, he began to prepare biochemical weapons. Al-Barq has reportedly told Israeli investigators that he performed initial tests in Afghanistan, using nerve gas on a dog. "Within seconds, the dog died," he told them coolly. "I began talking to friends about possible plans to go back to the West, and use weapons like this against Israel." 

Al-Barq also described how he was recruited into the terror organization, Nana reports, by the organization's leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri. "I met him in Afghanistan. He said I should be in touch with him to learn about producing anthrax," al-Barq stated. "We talked about the possibility of a suicide attack by releasing anthrax into a major urban center." 

While he has yet to be charged with a specific crime in Israel, al-Barq can be legally detained indefinitely if shown that he poses a threat. On Monday, the State told the High Court that the terrorist must remain in jail for the time being.