Gitmo Alum Detained In Raid Against French ISIS Cell

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Former Guantanamo Bay inmate Sabir Mahfouz Lahmar was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of being part of an Islamic State recruitment network in France.

Lahmar, a 48-year-old Algerian, was one of six people detained in a counter-terror operation in the city of Bordeaux, a French judicial source told the Associated Press. There are currently no indications the group was plotting an attack.

Lahmar was held in 2001 along with five other Algerians on suspicion of plotting to bomb the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. The U.S. Department of Justice later dropped the allegations against him but he remained at Guantanamo for several years.

He was part of a landmark Supreme Court case in 2008 over the legal rights of those held on the base. Lahmar was transferred to France shortly after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Robert C. Kirsch, a lawyer at the firm representing Lahmar in federal court, thanked the Obama administration after the release.

“We are grateful for the courage and generosity of the French people and government, and for the ongoing effort by President Obama and Ambassador Fried, which will now give Mr. Lahmar a chance to rebuild his life in France,” Kirsch said in April, 2009, according to The Washington Post.

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