Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg appeared today at London’s Old Bailey court, charged with providing terrorist training and funding terrorism in Syria.
The 45-year-old from Birmingham was arrested on February 25th and pleaded not guilty to the charges before him.
Begg spent three years at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba before being released without charge in 2005.
Counter-terrorism expert Robin Simcox wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2012:
He appeared at the Old Bailey hearing alongside a 44-year-old woman, Gerrie Tahari, and her son Mouloud Tahari. They are also accused of facilitating terrorism in Syria.
Begg moved to Afghanistan with his wife and three children in 2001 but fled to Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban after the September 11 attacks.
He was detained in Islamabad as an “enemy combatant” in February 2002 and taken to the Bagram prison in Afghanistan and then Guantanamo.
Begg has previously repeatedly written for the left-wing newspaper the Guardian, and was even one of the subjects of an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the British Parliament, signed by the likes of Jeremy Corbyn MP, Mike Hancock MP, former deputy speaker Nigel Evans MP, Chris Huhne, and Peter Bottomley MP.
In 2010, Amnesty International’s Gita Saghal described Begg in a leaked e-mail as “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban”.