CAIRO, (AP) – Egyptian authorities have re-arrested the brother of al-Qaeda’s deputy leader two days after freeing him from prison, a security official said Sunday.
The official said authorities took Mohammed al-Zawahri back into custody on Saturday but did not explain why.
He is the brother of Ayman al-Zawahri, an Egyptian who is al-Qaeda’s No. 2 and who led a militant group responsible for bombings and other attacks against Egypt’s government in the 1990s.
Mohammed al-Zawahri was tried in absentia and sentenced to death in 1999 along with 107 other Islamic militants. They were accused of involvement in terror attacks in Egypt, including the 1997 massacre of 62 people in Luxor.
Al-Zawahri was extradited from the United Arab Emirates.
His lawyer, Nizar Ghorab, said he was freed Thursday by court order after he filed a legal complaint arguing that his detention was illegal. The complaint argued that a death sentence can’t be confirmed for a suspect who is tried in absentia and noted that the defendant never signed the official sentencing document.
He did not know on what basis authorities had re-arrested him.
The security official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give information to journalists.