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Israel Says It Arrested Muslim Cleric Deported By U.S. January 9, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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JERUSALEM (AP)–Israel is holding the former imam of Ohio’s largest mosque, deported last week by the U.S., the Shin Bet internal security service said for the first time Tuesday.

Fawaz Damra, 46, was arrested by the Shin Bet because of his ties to Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group classified by Israel and the U.S. as a terror organization, the Shin Bet said Tuesday. No further details were provided.

Damra was deported by the U.S. authorities last week because he concealed his ties to Islamic Jihad when he applied for U.S. citizenship in 1994. Originally from the West Bank city of Nablus, Damra was deported to Jordan last week after being incarcerated in Monroe County, Michigan, for a year while awaiting deportation.

He crossed into the West Bank last Thursday, and his whereabouts had not been disclosed, though his family alleged that he had been arrested by Israel. The Shin Bet’s announcement Tuesday was the first official admission that Israel was holding the cleric.

Islamic Jihad, a small radical group with links to Iran and Syria, has carried out dozens of suicide bombings and rocket attacks against Israel.

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