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Jordan Releases Leading al Qaeda Mentor - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordanian authorities on Wednesday released Jordanian Sheikh Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi, a leading al-Qaeda mentor, after several years imprisonment without trial, security sources said.

They said Maqdisi, who was regarded as the spiritual mentor of slain al Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been in solitary confinement since he was rearrested in July 2005 following his acquittal at a trial of al Qaeda sympathizers.

“He was released,” said one security source without elaborating on the circumstances of the release of Maqdisi.

The militant Jihadi shared a cell block with Zarqawi for four years between 1995 and 1999. Both were freed in an amnesty. Zarqawi later went to Afghanistan then Iraq.

U.S. intelligence officials say Maqdisi is a major Jihadi mentor who wields more influence over Islamist ideology than leading militants such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri.

A study by a private think tank of the U.S. military academy West Point in 2006 described Maqdisi, a self-taught religious intellectual, as the most influential living Islamist mentor.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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