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British Send Islamic Cleric Back To Jail

An update on an old friend from the New York Times owned International Herald Tribune:

British court orders radical Islamic cleric back to prison

By John F. Burns

Published: December 2, 2008

LONDON: A panel of immigration judges ordered the immediate return to prison on Tuesday of a radical Islamic preacher known as Abu Qatada, dubbed by Britain’s tabloid newspapers as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe.”

The judges accepted warnings from the Home Office, Britain’s interior ministry, that the cleric, a 47-year-old Jordanian of Palestinian origin, might attempt to flee if he were allowed to remain on the bail granted to him five months ago.

The ruling by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission was the latest development in a legal battle that goes back to 1993, when the preacher, whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, arrived in Britain on a forged United Arab Emirates passport. He won asylum for himself and his family nine months later, but attracted the attention of the counterterrorism police about seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by Al Qaeda in New York and Washington.

Courts have been told that tapes of his sermons in British mosques were found in a Hamburg flat used by some of the Sept. 11 hijackers. In February 2001, Othman was questioned by police on suspicion of links to radical Islamist cells in Germany. The courts have been told that officers found 170,000 pounds in cash, the equivalent then of about $300,000, with about $1,500 of it in an envelope labeled “for the mujahideen in Chechnya.” He was not arrested, but became on Britain’s most-wanted men when he went on the run after Sept. 11, seeking to evade arrest under new antiterror laws.

In October 2002, he was tracked down to a house in south London, setting off his battle to avoid deportation. With British courts reluctant to order deportations to countries that practice torture, the government reached an agreement with Jordan that included a commitment not to mistreat Othman. But the courts ruled that the commitment was not a sufficient guarantee of Othman’s rights, and ordered him freed on bail pending further court hearings in June.

The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, issued a statement after Tuesday’s court ruling welcoming his return to jail. “I’m pleased the court has agreed that Qatada should have his bail revoked,” she said. “He poses a significant threat to our national security and I am pleased that he will be detained pending his deportation, which I’m working hard to secure.”

We were somewhat gobsmacked when this worthy received bail from the British courts last June. So it is gladdening to see that they have come to their senses here.

One wonders if the events in Mumbai might not have had something to do with their re-think.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “British Send Islamic Cleric Back To Jail”

  1. Liberals Demise

    I say…..is that a pork chop sandwich your gonna give that lad in the turban, there govna? No mint jelly, what?




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