Al Qaeda member surrenders to Mauritanian police

14:35, November 06, 2010      

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A Mauritanian youth of the North African wing of Al Qaeda (AQIM) handed himself over to the Mauritanian police in a town close to the border with Mali, Authorities disclosed on Friday.

This Mauritanian youth, aged around 30, has been interrogated by police since Wednesday evening, when he decided to go to the police station at Timbedra, a town located in the southeastern part of Mauritania.

In 2008, Ould Mohamed Mahmoud Izid Bih joined the Al-Ansar unit of AQIM, where he was trained how to handle explosives as well as guerrilla war tactics.

Izid Bih was under the command of a Malian national Abdel Karim Targui (a Toureg).

Police said the reasons for his surrender were personal. Izid Bih is said to have desired to reintegrate back into society and start leading a normal life.

He feigned sickness in order to leave the Al-Ansar Al-Qaeda camp on the northern part of Mali.

According to the newly adopted Mauritanian law on terrorism, Muslim extremists are likely to be pardoned if surrendering voluntarily.

In the recent past, the Mauritanian authorities have intensified their efforts to persuade AQIM members to renounce violence and quit Al Qaeda in order to reintegrate into society.

Several forums presided over by religious leaders have been organized for the purpose.

The ulemas (Islamic scholars) also called on the Mauritanian leaders to resort to dialogue and forgiveness for those who repent in fight against extremism and terrorism.



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