A former senior adviser to al-Qaida known as "Mr. Theology" was released from a Mauritanian prison over the weekend, his family confirmed to The Associated Press. Abu Hafs al Mauritani was an adviser to Osama Bin Laden, and was instrumental in forming the modern al-Qaida by merging together Bin Laden's operation with Ayman al-Zawahri's Islamic Jihad. Abu Hafs was released after renouncing his ties to the terror network and condemning the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to his brother, Sidi Ould Walid. In 2002, U.S. intelligence officials reported that Abu Hafs was killed in an American airstrike, but later said that he was alive and in Iran. Abu Hafs spent years in custody in Iran before he was extradited to Mauritania, his west African home nation.