Qatar agrees to mediate deal for Jama’a al-Islamiya leader’s release, family says

Family members of a Jama'a al-Islamiya leader held in a US prison said that Qatar is working on mediating his release.

Omar Abdel Rahman, a Jama'a al-Islamiya spiritual leader, is held on suspicions that he was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. 

Abdel Rahman’s son Mohamed said that the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Youssef al-Qaradawi, recently held discussions with Qatar’s emir, who expressed readiness to mediate, along with an Egyptian and another Qatari.

“Al-Qaradawi had earlier requested mediation. And Abdel Rahman was about to get released, but the Egyptian government failed [to achieve the release], which made the family resort to mediation through al-Qaradawi,” Mohamed told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Mohamed said that al-Qaradawi expressed readiness for renewing his role as mediator after the ouster of Egypt’s former regime.

He also said the family had met with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa in recent days and called for him to intervene to release Abdel Rahman, and Moussa agreed.

A member of Jama'a al-Islamiya’s Shura Council, Essam Derbala, said the group is preparing for a series of international and local events to mobilize public opinion and press for Abdel Rahman’s release.

Derbala said the group rejects calls from Al-Qaeda for militant action to get Abdel Rahman released, but the group, he said, rejects militant action in principle, no matter the purpose.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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