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Senior al Qaeda advisor released from Mauritania prison

A senior adviser to al Qaeda [JURIST news archive] was released over the weekend from a detention facility in Mauritania, his brother Sidi Ould Walid reported on Monday. Abu Hafs al-Mauritani [Global Security profile], whose full given name is Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, had been in custody under Iranian authority before being extradited to Mauritania [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in April. Hafs was released after renouncing his connection with the terrorist group and the 9/11 terrorist attack [JURIST backgrounder]. US officials have expressed their concern that the former al Qaeda advisor could again be involved in the terrorist network if he decides not to obey the conditions he agreed to with the Mauritanian authorities.

Authorities around the world have been tracking down members and supporters of the al Qaeda and other terrorists groups. Earlier this month, French authorities announced [JURIST report] that they arrested a suspected terrorist who was born in Tunisia in 1977 and resided in the French city of Toulon and allegedly has ties to al Qaeda. In June a New York native and terrorism suspect pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to charges that he provided the al Qaeda with money and computer assistance. In February Egyptian authorities reportedly arrested [JURIST report] a former al Qaeda military commander at an airport in Cairo. Saif al-Adel [Telegraph profile] was detained upon his arrival after noticing that his name appeared on the passenger list on a flight from Pakistan. During the same month, a judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky [official website] allowed [JURIST report] certain secret evidence to be used against a suspect who was charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations and conspiracy to transfer weapons to terrorist organizations, specifically al Qaeda.

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