Jordan releases Salafist jihadist ideologue

Jordan releases Salafist jihadist ideologue
# 05 February 2015 21:21 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Jordanian authorities have released Salafist jihadist ideologue Essam al-Barqawi, better known as Abu Mohamed al-Maqdisi, after over three months of detention, his lawyer said Thursday, APA reports quoting AA.

"Al-Barqawi had already been released today after he was arrested over charges of using internet to abet terrorist groups," Moussa Al-Abdallat, a lawyer for the Salafist Movement in Jordan, told The Anadolu Agency.

"After 100 days of detention, my client has returned home after he was released due to the lack of evidence," he added.

The Jordanian authorities are yet to comment on the lawyer's assertion.

Al-Maqdisi, an influential ideologue for Salafist Jihadist groups and a former top al-Qaeda spiritual guide, was arrested late October, only a few months after he was released by the Jordanian authorities after years of imprisonment on terror-related charges.

Mohamed al-Shelbi, a senior Salafist leader, told The Anadolu Agency then that Al-Maqdisi had most likely been arrested for publishing a message in which he criticized a U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Barqawi, who had earlier lashed out at the ISIL, said in his message that the international coalition was waging a war against Islam and Muslims in both Iraq and Syria with support from "the infidels" and likened the coalition to "crusaders."

In 2011, Barqawi was convicted by Jordan's State Security Court, along with some other people, of recruiting Jordanians for terrorist movements based in Afghanistan.

He was then released from jail in June of last year after serving out his prison sentence.

Al-Maqdisi had criticized ISIL in several messages from his prison, urging its members to join its rival Al-Nusra Front, also an al-Qaeda-linked group.

His Thursday release comes a few days after an online video purportedly showed Jordanian Air Forces Moaz al-Kasasba, who had been held by the ISIL since late last year, being burned alive by his captors.

The graphic video sent shockwaves across Jordan –already a member of the ongoing U.S.-led air campaign against ISIL – and the international community.