Abu Qatada, radical Muslim preacher, to be deported: official


The UK government says Qatada, long accused of being one of the UK’s most dangerous extremist preachers and a leading Al Qaeda figure in Europe, poses a threat to national security.



Britain announced today that it will deport Abu Qatada to Jordan, where he is set to face trial on terrorism charges in a case flagged for concern by the European Court of Human Rights, reported the UK Press Association

Europe's rights court in January banned Qatada's extradition to Jordan over fears that evidence believed gained by torture would be used at his upcoming trial on terrorism charges, said The Telegraph

But British home secretary Theresa May told lawmakers today that she had obtained all the "material we need to satisfy the courts," thereby allowing authorities to "soon put Qatada on a plane and get him out of our country for good," she said, according to UK Press Association

Qatada (legal name Omar Othman) has spent the last six years in legal wrangling over his deportation, a long-running case now seen as an important benchmark for Britain's treatment of suspected extremists, according to Reuters

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However, May cautioned that Qatada's lawyers could appeal to the European Court over Britain's latest move, potentially putting his case -- which involves the longest detainment in the history modern immigration, according to SKY News -- once again on hold. 

London police arrested the 51-one-year-old Islamic preacher at his home early today, just weeks after May visited Jordan to address rights concerns over his extradition.

Britain is under pressure to resolve the politically-loaded case before London hosts the Olympic Games this summer, said SKY News

Qatada, known as "Bin Laden's right hand man in Europe," had been kept under a 22-hour curfew in his north London house as part of extremely limiting bail conditions after a court ordered his release on grounds that he could not be held without trial, said The Telegraph

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Britain's Special Immigration Appeals Commission announced that he could be deported to Jordan "on or around April 30," according to The Telegraph

Qatada was convicted in absentia in Jordan over his alleged involvement in 1998 terror attacks, and his sermons were also discovered in the home of one of the accused September 11, 2001 bombers, said SKY News