Syria Releases Mastermind of 7/7 Bombing
Al-Suri's release likely a warning to US over Syria unrest
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2012 8:06 AM CST
In this Thursday, July 7, 2005 file photo, an officer walks next to the wreckage of a double decker bus with its top blown off and damaged cars scattered on the road at Tavistock Square in London.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan, file)

(Newser) – The alleged mastermind behind the 2005 7/7 bombings in London has been released from a Syrian prison, reportedly as a warning to the United States and West by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, reports the Telegraph. Abu Musab al-Suri, also known as Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, is also suspected of being connected to the 2004 Madrid train bombings and an attack on the Paris subway in 1995, setting up European sleeper cells, and running training camps in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.

Al-Suri was captured by the CIA in Pakistan in 2005 and was reportedly turned over to Syria, the country of his birth, six years ago as part of a controversial rendition program. But with violence in Syria reaching new levels over the weekend and the United States trying to get the UN Security Council to condemn the Assad government, al-Suri's release is a significant pushback by the Syrian government. "The timing of his release raises a lot of questions and observers believe the release may indicate the regime is stopping security cooperation with the Americans and thus releasing all those Washington considers a threat,” said the Syrian opposition in a statement.