Actually, he’s an expert on Islamic terrorism, but we can’t call it that anymore, we have speech codes to uphold. What you say? Â We can’t call itÂ ‘violent extremism’ either, because that could offend Muslims?
Ah well, lets call it interfaith dialogue then, that should keep everyone happy.
When it comes to interfaith, only Â one person is Â probably Â more qualified than Â Abu Qatada, and that is Abu Hamza. And if he’s up to the job, it would be discriminatory and ‘racist’ not to give Abu Qatada the same opportunity?
You got it, baby:
Terrorist on the school run: Bin Laden’s ‘ambassador in Europe’ to be free in days… and judge says he can take his child to class
- Hate preacher is expected to walk free on Monday
- He will be permitted to roam the streets for only two hours a day
- Lawyers argued he should be released on bailÂ after being held for six and a half years
- Former home secretary David Blunkett warns he is ‘extraordinarily dangerous and we don’t want him on our streets’
- Home Office: ‘Qatada should remain in detention, our view has not changed’
One of the world’s most dangerous fanatics will be freed from jail within days â€“ with a judge’s permission to do the school run.
Notorious hate preacher Abu Qatada is considered such a threat that he will be permitted to roam the streets for only two hours a day.
But Mr Justice Mitting ruled that he must be allowed to walk his youngest child to school under his bail conditions.
It raises the prospect of parents at the school gates bumping into the radical cleric, who was known as Osama Bin Laden’s ambassador in Europe.
Â Preacher of hate Abu Qatada (left) can be released on bail after more than six years in prison, Mr Justice Mitting (right) ruled
Last night critics described the bail ruling as a ‘disgrace’. Former home secretary David Blunkett warned that Qatada was ‘extraordinarily dangerous and we don’t want him on our streets’.
Qatada has spent much of the past decade in a high-security prison and has cost taxpayers more than Â£1million in benefits, prison costs and legal fees.
Ministers are attempting to deport him to Jordan to stand trial on terror charges, but three weeks ago they were blocked by European human rights judges.
Yesterday Government lawyers argued the fanatic should remain in prison while they continue efforts to remove him and insisted he presented an ‘unusually significant risk to the UK’.
But the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled he should be released on bail, to resume his life with his wife and five children.
Jordanian authorities released this picture of Qatada (left) in 2008 under his name of Omar abu Omar. Right, the Daily Mail’s front page from January 27, 2005
Qatada is expected to walk free from Long Lartin high-security prison in Worcestershire on Monday.
Under his bail conditions, he will be forced to wear an electronic tag and comply with a 22-hour curfew within a defined zone around his home address, thought to be in Wembley, north London.
Meetings with anyone other than his immediate family will have to be approved by security officials. If he breaks the conditions, he could be back behind bars within hours.
Officials do not consider it likely that Qatada will take part in the planning of a terrorist attack or other operational activities.
However, it is feared he could use the internet to give justification for attacks overseas or in Britain.
Officials want to prevent this happening by banning him from having a mobile phone or access to the internet, where his sermons could be uploaded on to extremist websites.
Qatada’s strict curfew also reflects the fact that he has, in the past, been accused of terrorist fundraising.
He was found to have Â£170,000 cash in his possession, including Â£805 in an envelope marked ‘For the mujahedin in Chechnya’.
The bail ruling came as the respected Royal United Services Institute think tank warned that ‘sources estimate that at least 200 would-be suicide bombers are actively planning attacks in the UK’.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Mitting said Qatada’s bail conditions could be relaxed within three months unless Britain makes ‘demonstrable progress’ in negotiations to send the 52-year-old home.
Last month, judges in Strasbourg ruled that Qatada could not be deported in case evidence obtained from torture was used against him at trial in Jordan. British diplomats are trying to extract assurances that this will not happen.
Attorney General Dominic Grieve said the Government was bound by the rule of law ‘as much as anybody else’.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘The Government is obviously very concerned about this case and very much wishes to see Abu Qatada deported to Jordan and, when he is in Jordan, tried fairly if the Jordanian authorities wish to put him on trial.
‘He cannot be deported unless the assurances which are required following the judgment in the European Court of Human Rights can be secured.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Qatada should remain in detention, our view has not changed. That is the argument we made to the court today and we disagree with its decision.
‘This 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.’
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said most people would be ‘astonished by this decision considering Abu Qatada is wanted on terrorism charges in eight countries’.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: ‘The Home Secretary needs to explain urgently what action she is taking on the national security implications of this judgment.
‘Abu Qatada should face terror charges in Jordan, and the Home Secretary needs to urgently accelerate discussions to make that possible.’
Robin Simcox of the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank, said: ‘Today’s decision is a disgrace.
But, if Abu Qatada is to be released, the Government should place him under a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure, the successor to control orders. He is far too important an Al Qaeda ideologue not to be under surveillance.’
Qatada, also known as Omar Othman, featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of a September 11 bomber.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has overruled every court in Britain in ruling that Abu Qatada can stay in Britain
ABU QATADA: THE ‘PREACHER OF HATE’ WE CANNOT DEPORT
Abu Qatada has variously been described as ‘Al Qaeda’s spiritual leader in Europe’, ‘Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe’, ‘the most significant extremist preacher in the UK’ and ‘a truly dangerous individual’.
The Jordanian father of five, whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, claimed asylum when he arrived in Britain in September 1993 on a forged passport.
He was allowed to stay and preach his extremism, and was accused of calling on British Muslims to martyr themselves in a holy war on ‘oppression’.
A 1995 ‘fatwa’ he issued justified the killing of converts from Islam, their wives and children in Algeria. In October 1999 a sermon in London called for the killing of Jews and praised attacks on Americans. And the same year he was convicted in his absence of planning terror attacks in Jordan.
When he was arrested in February 2001 he was found in possession of Â£170,000 in cash, including Â£805 in an envelope marked ‘For the mujahedin in Chechnya’.
Videos of his sermons were found in the Hamburg flat used by some of the 9/11 hijackers.
As fears of a domestic terror threat grew after those attacks, he thwarted every attempt by the Government to detain and deport him; he went on the run to avoid being detained without trial or charged under new anti-terror laws.
After 10 months on the run he was discovered in a council house in south London, arrested and taken to Belmarsh high-security prison.
Qatada was released in March 2005 and put under a 22-hour home curfew designed to limit contact with other extremists.
He was rearrested months later but ministers were thwarted in their efforts to deport him because of fears he would be tortured if he returned to Jordan.
As the court battle continued, Qatada was released in June 2008 to live in his Â£800,000 council house in west London before being rearrested that November over fears he would breach his bail conditions.
In 2008, the Court of Appeal ruled in Qatada’s favour, saying there were reasonable grounds for believing he would be denied a fair trial in Jordan because evidence against him could have been extracted through torture.
But in a landmark judgment in February 2009, five Law Lords unanimously backed the Government’s policy of removing terror suspects from Britain on the basis of assurances from foreign governments.
Lord Phillips, now president of the Supreme Court, went further, saying that evidence of torture in another country ‘does not require the UK to retain in this country, to the detriment of national security, a terrorist suspect’.
Qatada has always denied claims that he is al Qaeda’s European ambassador, and insists he never met Osama bin Laden.