European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies-Germany and Netherlands.
Osama bin Laden’s former spokesman Adel Abdel Bary set for London return after US prison term
Thenationalـ A former spokesman for Osama bin Laden will soon be reunited with his family in London after being released from jail in the US for his role in the 1998 attacks on embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.Adel Abdel Bary, 60, who spread propaganda on behalf of Al Qaeda from his London headquarters, was jailed for 25 years by a US judge in February, 2015, for his role in promoting the attacks that left 5,000 injured.
But he served fewer than five years in a US prison after fighting extradition from custody in the UK for more than a decade.He was released several weeks earlier than the planned October 28 date because of concerns about Covid-19 in prison.Bary, who is obese and suffers from asthma, was being held in a medium-security prison in New Jersey where nearly 10 per cent of inmates had tested positive for coronavirus, according to his lawyer.
He was taken into immigration custody after his release on October 9 and is due to be returned to his family in London.“It is not sufficient to keep him away from his family in what could be the final period of his life,” said US district judge Lewis Kaplan.The reunion will not include his son Abdel Majed Abdel Bary, who was one of Europe’s most wanted ISIS terrorists until he was caught in Spain in April.
Abdel Bary, a former rap artist, once posed with a severed head in Syria and promised death to all westerners after leaving the UK in 2013 to join ISIS. He left the group two years later after sustained coalition bombing and had been on the run.Investigators believe he had entered Spain a few days before his arrest in Almeria, a city in the country’s south-east. Video of the raid showed armed police leading Abdel Bary and two associates from an apartment with their heads covered.
British officials are not permitted to place restrictions on his father’s movements when he returns to London because he has served his sentence. But a government source told The Times that authorities were “very alive to the risk involved in his potential return”.Bary was a key figure in Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which later merged with Al Qaeda. He was granted asylum in the UK in the early 1990s after claiming that he was tortured by the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
The former spokesman for Bin Laden, once the most wanted terrorist in the world, should remain on the radar of the British security services, said Faith Matters, a British anti-extremism charity. “It is people like Bary who created the monster of Islamist extremism,” the group said.His lawyer claimed last month that Bary did not pose a danger to the community but said he would no longer walk the towns and cities of the US.
“He has never advocated violence and the organisation that he had associated with more than 20 years ago has been reduced to a historical relic,” said New York attorney Andrew Patel.The extradition agreement included provisions for Bary to be “removed from the United States and returned to the United Kingdom, specifically to his family in London” after serving his sentence.