A man considered the mentor of al-Zarqawi, the chief of al-Qaida in Iraq, was freed from jail on Tuesday, government officials said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The government officials who announced al-Barqawi’s release declined to provide other details on the militant who shared al-Zarqawi’s jail block for four years, between March 1995 and 1999.
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Both men were then freed under a general amnesty issued by Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Al-Barqawi, also known as Abu-Mohammed al-Maqdisi, was later detained for another case, while al-Zarqawi left Jordan, the officials said.
Al-Barqawi lead prayers and issued directives to al-Zarqawi when both were in jail, said ex-con Yousef al-Rababaa, who was imprisoned with both men for three years in a separate matter.