|Omar Mohammed Othman||Omar Mohammed Othman||Learned Elders of Islam||Britain||Arrested||Holy Man||20021205|
|Real name (?) of Abu Qatada|
|Britain Challenges Ban on Removal of Cleric Abu Qatada|
|[An Nahar] Britain's government on Monday challenged a ruling blocking the extradition of Jordanian terror suspect Abu Qatada, saying that the justice system in the Arab nation could be trusted.|
The Court of Appeal in London reserved judgment until a later date after hearing arguments from the interior ministry and from Abu Qatada's lawyers.
The hearing came just days after Abu Qatada was rearrested for breaching his bail conditions, although it was unrelated to the bail decision and a separate hearing on that is due on March 21.
Abu Qatada, real name Omar Mohammed Othman, was convicted in absentia in Jordan of involvement in terror attacks in 1998 and successive British governments have been trying for a decade to secure his deportation.
Lawyers for Home Secretary Theresa May are challenging a ruling by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in November that Abu Qatada cannot be deported over fears that evidence obtained through torture could be used against him in any retrial.
Lawyer James Eadie said that SIAC had taken an "erroneous" view of the situation in Jordan.
"There is no real risk of a flagrant denial of justice. The Jordanian courts will consider all the evidence," Eadie told the court.
|Radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada freed from UK jail|
|Abu Qatada was freed from prison on Tuesday after a UK court ruled he cannot be deported from to Jordan to face terrorism charges. Qatada has been dubbed right-hand man in Europe. |
British authorities reluctantly released terror suspect Abu Qatada on bail Tuesday after judges ruled that the radical dubbed Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe should not be extradited to Jordan.
Heavily bearded and wearing a black cap, the Islamist preacher smiled slightly as he was driven out of the high-security Long Lartin prison in central England in the back of a black minibus.
Several hours later, a small group of protesters gathered outside Abu Qatada's house in northwest London and calling for his deportation, as the father-of-five arrived at his modest terraced home.
The court ruling on Monday was a severe blow for the British government, which has kept the preacher for most of the last 10 years and repeatedly tried to send him to Jordan.
"I am completely fed up with the fact that this man is still in our country. We believe he is a threat to our country," Prime Minister said during a visit to Rome.
"We have moved heaven and earth to try and comply with every single dot and comma of every single convention to get him out of the country."
Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks, but British judges accepted his argument that evidence obtained by torture might be used against him in a retrial.
The preacher, a Jordanian of Paleostinian origin who is in his early 50s, will be under a curfew 16 hours a day but can leave his home between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.
He will have to wear an electronic tag and restrictions will be placed on who he meets.
The handful of protesters outside the preacher's house brandished a "Get Rid of Abu Qatada" banner.
"He shouldn't be here. He was supposed to be deported to Jordan. It's a disgrace," said Jackie Chaunt, 50.
The European Court of Human Rights had ruled earlier this year that Abu Qatada could not be deported while there was a "real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him" in a possible retrial.
Home Secretary Theresa May ordered Abu Qatada's extradition anyway after she was given assurances by Jordan that he would be treated fairly.
But the Special Immigration Appeals Commission -- a semi-secret panel of British judges that deals with national security matters -- ruled in Qatada's favour.
They said statements from Abu Qatada's former co-defendants Al-Hamasher and Abu Hawsher may have been obtained by torture and created a risk that any trial would be unfair.
The , whose real name is Omar Mohammed Othman, arrived in in 1993 claiming asylum and has been a thorn in the side of successive British governments.
Videos of his sermons were found in the Hamburg flat used by some of the hijackers involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks. He has also defended the killing of Jews and attacks on Americans.
A Spanish judge once branded him the right-hand man of late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Europe, although Abu Qatada denies ever having met bin Laden.
initially him in 2002 under anti-terror laws imposed in the wake of 9/11 but he was released under house arrest.
London first ordered his deportation in 2005 and his appeal against that order was rejected in 2009. May then signed a fresh deportation order and Abu Qatada appealed to the European court.
He was briefly freed on bail earlier this year but then re- In October extradited another radical Islamist preacher, Abu Hamza, and four other terror suspects to the United States.
|British Judge Orders Release on Bail of Abu Qatada|
|[An Nahar] A British judge on Monday ordered the release on bail of radical Abu Qatada, allegedly a former top aide of al-Qaeda chief despite government concerns he poses a security risk.|
The interior ministry condemned the decision, saying the 51-year-old is "a dangerous man who we believe poses a real threat to our security and who has not changed in his views or attitude to the UK."
has been trying to deport Qatada to Jordan for the past six years but its efforts were blocked last month by the European Court of Human Rights, which said evidence against him may have been obtained through torture.
Following the European ruling, Qatada applied to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in to be released from the high-security Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire, central England.
Lawyer Ed Fitzgerald told the commission that Qatada's detention for six and a half years while fighting deportation "has now gone on for too long to be reasonable or lawful".
"However the risk of absconding, however the risk of further offending, there comes a point when it's just too long."
But Keith Vaz, a who chairs parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee, said most people would be "astonished by this decision considering Abu Qatada is wanted on terrorism charges in eight countries".
"The only way to avoid the situation occurring again is a fast-tracked system in the UK and EU courts so that those who pose a threat to the British public are deported as swiftly as possible."
Judge John Mitting ruled that Qatada should be set free under "highly prescriptive terms" for the next three months.
After that the judge indicated he may release Qatada altogether unless the government had made progress in trying to deport him. "The time will arrive quite soon when continuing detention or deprivation of liberty could not be justified," Mitting said.
The European court said however that it "finds that there is a real risk that the applicant's retrial would amount to a flagrant denial of justice" -- a violation of Article 6 of the Convention on Human Rights.
Interior minister Theresa May is now seeking assurances from Jordan that evidence gained through torture would not be used against Qatada.
The judge said it would take "between a few days and about a week" for 's domestic intelligence service MI5 to check Qatada's proposed bail address, which was not revealed in court, before he could be released.
The will subsequently be under a 22-hour curfew, prohibited from using the Internet or any electronic communications and he will be electronically monitored. His visitors and movements will also be restricted.
|Training camp in Australis denied|
|VICTORIA Police have denied reports of a terrorist training camp in the state, saying they relate to unsubstantiated allegations. Reports said Islamic extremists linked to Jemaah Islamiyah fired weapons and conducted close-quarter combat training in remote forest outside Melbourne.|
However police this morning said there was no evidence to support claims of such a camp. "The allegations were made late 1998-99 and were investigated by ASIO with the assistance of local authorities," police deputy media director Kevin Loomes said in the statement.
"There was no terrorist activity substantiated or any evidence of a terrorist training camp."
Senior UK-based al-Qaeda operative Abu Qatada, accused of being a key influence in the September 11 attacks, allegedly attended the camp as a guest speaker. While Australian law enforcement officers maintain Qatada, who is in custody, was refused entry to Australia in the 1990s, leading Muslims claim otherwise. Sheikh Taj el-Din Al Hilaly, Australia's most prominent Muslim leader maintains Qatada entered the country in the 1990s and engaged in a speaking tour as well. Fehmi Naji El-Imam, Melbourne's Preston Mosque imam, confirmed yesterday that Qatada - also known as Omar Mohammed Othman - spoke to his congregation.
Extremist Indonesian political movement, Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah, which is associated with terror group Laskar Jihad (LJ) was believed to have organised the camps. The close-knit group, known for its secrecy and fundamentalist ideology, is based at the Preston Mosque. The group frequently advertises youth camps. The existence of such camps, or the presence of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah could not be ruled out as the mosque had between 500 and 1000 members.
Camp attendees came from Algerian, Somali, Lebanese, Palestinian and Philippine backgrounds. Some Philippino members were linked to JI. Members of the Sydney-based extremist group Islamic Youth Movement (IYM), which publishes a pro-terrorist magazine, attended the camps. Attempts to contact the IYM were unsuccessful. Islamic warriors, who fought in Afghanistan or Somalia, were alleged to have led camp training sessions, which involved target practice at distances of up to 200m.