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LONDON -- Extremist preacher Abu Qatada, once called Osama bin Laden's ambassador to Europe, faces a hearing Tuesday after being re-arrested in West London.
Abu Qatada was taken into custody over the weekend, apparently for violating his strict bail conditions, according to British newspaper reports.
The prominent terrorist suspect had been freed on bail in June despite government objections, but was confined to his home 22 hours per day and forced to wear an electronic monitoring device at all times.
His case is to be heard Tuesday morning by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, a spokeswoman said.
"We're assuming the hearing will be about his bail conditions," said the spokeswoman, who asked not to be identified because of the commission's policy.
His bail could be revoked if he is found to have violated his bail conditions, which aim to keep him from having any contact with known terrorists.
He is forbidden to use the Internet, computers, or mobile phones and is specifically prohibited from any contact with bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
British government officials maintain Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-Jordanian, had ties to convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid and to Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in the United States for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Authorities accused him of raising large amounts of money for extremist networks in Britain and abroad and also providing spiritual guidance to terrorists.
However, Abu Qatada has so far been able to frustrate British government attempts to deport him or keep him in prison.
British appeals courts have ruled that Abu Qatada cannot be deported to Jordan because he could face torture there. He has been convicted in Jordan for his role in two bombings.
A British judge ordered his release on bail in June, and the government is appealing that decision in the House of Lords, Britain's highest court. The government argues he poses a threat to national security and should be kept in prison.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/world/BO94590/
 

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UK court: Radical preacher can be deported from UK



AFP/OFF/File - Abu Qatada, seen here, a radical Muslim cleric once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man …

LONDON - An extremist Muslim preacher once called a key operative for Osama bin Laden in Europe can be deported to Jordan despite fears he could face torture there, Britain's highest court ruled on Wednesday.
Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-Jordanian, arrived in Britain in 1993. He and his family were given residency rights in Britain but in 2002 he was jailed and held for three years after British authorities accused him of advising militants and raising money for terror attacks. In 2005, he was released but re-arrested pending his deportation to Jordan where, in his absence, he had been sentenced to life for conspiracy to commit terrorist activities.
Britain's lower courts said he couldn't be deported because of his fears he would likely be tortured but the Law Lords ruled there was no proof of a real risk to Qatada.
"Most people in Britain, I suspect, would be astonished at the amount of care, time and trouble that has been devoted to the question whether it will be safe for the aliens to be returned to their own countries," said Lord David Hope.
Qatada's actual deportation won't take place until the European Court of Human Rights hears an expected appeal, Britain's Home Office said.
"I am keen to deport this dangerous individual as soon as I can," said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
Smith has argued that Britain has secured guarantees from Jordan and other countries, such as Algeria, that they won't torture deportees.
The Law Lords also ruled two Algerian men could be deported despite torture fears.
The Algerian men have never been named by British authorities and are referred to only as "RB" and "U."
"U" is accused by Britain of helping to run terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, of having direct links to bin Laden and of involvement in a planned attack on Los Angeles airport. "RB" is suspected by Britain of having links to Algerian terrorists, according to the Law Lords.
Tom Porteous, London director of Human Rights Watch, said the ruling amounted to the blanket authorization for Britain to deport suspects "at risk of torture on the basis of flimsy and unenforceable agreements that aren't legally binding."
In Jordan, State Minister for Information Nasser Judeh said he expected Qatada to appeal.
"If he doesn't, he will be back and Jordanian law will apply," Judeh said.
A Spanish judge once described Qatada - whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman - as bin Laden's "spiritual ambassador in Europe," and Britain says he has ties to al-Qaida, Egypt's Islamic Jihad and other terror groups. Officials also claim he had links to shoe bomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, who was convicted for his role in the Sept. 11 attacks.
"At a time when the Obama administration is cleaning house and renouncing torture, today's ruling shows the U.K. still clinging to paper promises from torturers," said Eric Metcalfe, director of human rights at the civil liberties group Justice.
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Associated Press Writer Jennifer Quinn in London and Jamal Halaby in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090218/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_radical_preacher
 

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The Guardian
Radical cleric Abu Qatada being freed from UK jail
The Associated Press - ‎16 minutes ago‎

LONDON (AP) - Abu Qatada, a radical Muslim cleric whom British officials say is an al-Qaida figurehead and a threat to national security, was freed from an English prison into virtual house arrest late Monday, British media reported.
 
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