Egypt rearrests Zawahiri's brother after release

CAIRO Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:53am EDT

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian police detained the brother of Al Qaeda no. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri on Sunday, days after he had been released as part of an amnesty extended to political prisoners, lawyers representing him said.

Mohammad al-Zawahiri was arrested at his home in a Cairo suburb in the early hours of the morning, said lawyers Mamdouh Ismail and Nizar Ghurab. No reason was given for his detention and it was not clear where he was taken, they said.

Zawahiri, a member of the Islamic Jihad group led by his brother, had spent 10 years in prison in Egypt on charges of militancy.

The authorities had decided to rearrest Zawahiri on Sunday because he was wanted in connection with other cases, security sources said.

Zawahiri was extradited from the United Arab Emirates in the late 1990s. He one of a group of Islamists put on trial on suspicion of involvement in attacks on an array of Egyptian targets.

Ghurab said Zawahiri's treatment raised questions about the commitment of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to freedom. The military has governed Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled from power on February 11.

"What happened confirms that oppression still exists," Ghurab said. "There should be transparency and clarity when a citizen is arrested."

Other prominent Islamists who have been released in recent weeks include Tarek and Abboud al-Zumar. Both spent 30 years in jail for their involvement in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

(Reporting by Mohamed Abdellah and Tom Perry; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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