Watch CBSN Live

U.K. police arrest ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg on suspicion of Syria-related terror offenses

LONDON -- British police say a former Guantanamo Bay detainee is one of four people arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses.

West Midlands Police confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday that Moazzam Begg was arrested in the Birmingham area of central England.

Police say 45-year-old Begg is suspected of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas.

The Telegraph newspaper said there had been previous reports of British authorities seizing Begg's passport in 2013 after a suspected trip to Syria. He claimed at the time, however, that police stopped him as he returned from South Africa.

He was arrested along with a 44-year-old woman, her 20-year-old son, and a 36-year-old man. Their names were not released.

There has been an increase in recent months in the number of Britons traveling to Syria to join the battle against the forces of President Bashar Assad.

According to Britain's Press Association, 16 people were detained in January alone on suspicion of terrorism offenses related to Syria. The PE said 24 people were arrested on similar charges during all of 2013.

Begg was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and sent to the U.S. prison camp in Cuba.

}  After his release in 2005 he became director of the detainee advocacy group Cage.

In 2008, he was one of eight former Guantanamo detainees who filed lawsuits against the British government and security services, accusing them of complicity in their purported illegal detention and seeking millions of dollars in damages.

"It is culpability by the British authorities in being involved in most of the process, their presence on every step of the journey before we got to Guantanamo," Begg, was quoted as saying at the time. He told The Associated Press he had been advised by lawyers not to comment further on the case.

Begg, who moved to Afghanistan to set up a language school, has claimed he was tortured while in U.S. custody -- allegations dismissed by U.S. authorities.

View CBS News In