FORMER Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has denied ‘unsubstantiated claims’ by a national newspaper that he was at the same Syrian training camp – and helped train ‘Jihadi John’ Mohammed Emwazi.
Mr Begg spent three years in Guantanamo after being arrested in February 2002 on suspicion of ‘being an enemy combatant and al-Qaeda member, who recruited for al-Qaeda, provided money for their training camps, and trained at their camps in Afghanistan to fight US or allied troops’.
He was released without charge in 2005.
Mr Begg was in 2014, also charged with providing terrorist training and funding terrorism overseas.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, entering a plea of not guilty and had the charges against him dropped before trial.
But accusations against Mr Begg arose again at the weekend when a national newspaper made claims he attended the same training camp as Jihadi John – the Londoner-turned-ISIS figurehead responsible for the grim decapitation of hostages.
CAGE – the independent advocacy organisation Begg is a Director for – has been quick to rubbish the claims, releasing a strong statement on Begg’s behalf this week.
CAGE has been in the headlines in recent weeks for its partial defence of Jihadi John who it claims truned to terrorism because of the way he was treated by MI6.
Amanda Thomas-Johnson, Communications Officer at CAGE said: “The plain facts are that the article is barely credible and relies on “unnamed official sources” speculating over unnamed and unidentifiable people in balaclavas.
“However it fits with an ongoing smear campaign against CAGE that has included the most senior UK politicians from the Prime Minister to Foreign and Home secretaries but also involved government regulators pressuring funders and other NGOs to boycott CAGE for asking uncomfortable questions.
“The vitriol and ferocity of the attacks on a minuscule organisation like ourselves should beg more questions of the attackers rather than the victims.”