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German author Abdel-Samad resurfaces in Egypt after kidnap fears

Hamed Abdel-Samad has been located in Cairo and is in the care of the German embassy. The German-Egyptian author, a recipient of death threats in the past, went missing on Sunday afternoon.

The German Foreign Office late on Tuesday confirmed Egyptian media reports that Hamed Abdel-Samad had been sighted in public in Cairo. The 41-year-old writer went missing on Sunday and was feared kidnapped.

"We can confirm that Abdel-Samad is in the care of the German ambassador," a spokeswoman for the foreign office told reporters in Berlin.

Separate reports claimed that police were questioning the writer about his mysterious disappearance.

"He's alive and he's in good health," Abdel-Samad's brother Mahmoud told the German daily "die Welt."

The Gizeh-born writer, who has spent many of his adult years in Germany and Japan, received death threats this summer after a critical speech about the Muslim Brotherhood delivered in Cairo. His 2009 book "Mein Abschied vom Himmel" ("My Farewell from Heaven") also elicited threats from religious fundamentalists. Abdel-Samad returned to Egypt as longstanding President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power early in 2011; and has spent much of the subsequent period in the country of his birth.

The precise circumstances surrounding the author's disappearance remained unclear on Tuesday night. Mahmoud Abdel-Samad had said on Monday that a business dispute was another possible reason for his brother's sudden absence, as well as the possibility of abduction.

msh/ch (AFP, dpa, epd)