(photo credit: Screenshot Channel 10)
The state told the High Court of Justice on Monday that it should grant an
additional six-month extension to Samer Abed a-Latif al-Barak’s administrative
detention, as he was too dangerous to go free.
The state has said that
Barak is an al-Qaida terrorist with roots in global jihad, that he had been
recruited by current al-Qaida leader Ayman al- Zawahiri and that he had training
relating to the use of biological weapons.
Barak, of Palestinian origin,
has been held for three years under administrative detention, meaning that
although he has periodically appeared before military judges to review his
situation, he is being held indefinitely without charges or expectation of a
Muhammad Salah, Barak’s attorney, argued that the suspected
terrorist had been in contact with al-Qaida but was not remotely a senior or
He added that the IDF had considered bringing
charges against him but had closed the criminal case against him without any
indictment, on the basis of a lack of a public interest.
Salah said that
if the IDF viewed charging Barak as not important to the public interest, it was
absurd to keep him indefinitely in administrative detention.
in Barak’s defense that both the US and Jordan had detained him and that both
had released him, suggesting he was no arch-terrorist.
Salah argued that
the last IDF judge who extended his detention said he was doing so with a heavy
and an unsure heart, and that the IDF appeals court had misused its authority,
denying Barak’s appeal with no substantive arguments simply because he would not
stand up in court when it demanded he do so to recognize the court.
was detained in the US for a couple of years after September 11, 2001, and was
then detained by Jordan from 2003 to 2008.
In 2010, Barak was expelled
from Jordan directly to Israel, under disputed circumstances regarding whether
he was intentionally handed over to Israeli security forces, and he has been
administratively detained ever since.
Late Sunday night, the state filed
a response to Barak’s petition to be released.
The state argued that
releasing the prisoner would be a point of no return for the establishment of a
significant global jihad infrastructure in the region.
identifies the prisoner as a resident of the region who was born in 1974. It
says that he left the region in 1997 to study microbiology in
He then purportedly went to Afghanistan in 1998 for military
training, and apparently persuaded others from the region to do the same. This
was, the state said, with the intention of returning to the region to train
Furthermore, the state said, the man was involved in planning
terrorist attacks against Israelis and Jews in Jordan throughout 2001. He agreed
to train Palestinian terrorists in the production of poisons, in order to carry
out attacks against Israelis.
The state said the key point was that the
lower IDF court had extended Barak’s detention and that at most, Barak could
complain he should get a rehearing before the IDF appeals court, following the
dispute over his refusal to stand, but that there was still no basis for the
High Court to order his release.
Toward the end of the hearing, the court
reviewed aspects of the secret intelligence regarding Barak’s alleged dangerous
activities, in a closeddoor session.
According to B’Tselem – The Israel
Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, the Prisons
Service provided information indicating that at the end of September, 135
Palestinians were held in administrative detention.
that Barak is currently the longest-held administrative detainee.
Prisons Service figures include four Palestinians detained from two- to
two-and-a-half years, and four held between a year-and-a-half and two years,
said B’Tselem.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.