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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Abu Qatada: Bin Laden's right hand man in Europe jailed indefinitely

Abu Qatada: Bin Laden's right hand man in Europe jailed indefinitely

December 2, 2008

Extreme preacher Abu Qatada jailed indefinitely

A man believed to be Abu Qatada enjoys a chat on a mobile phone (bail conditions?) at the rear of 27 Goldsmith Avenue in West London (Jon Enoch/The Times)

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color-666">Abu Qatada was banned from using a mobile phone

Richard Ford, Home Correspondent
From Times Online (London) December 2, 2008
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Abu Qatada, the extremist preacher, is to be detained indefinitely in prison after a court ruling that the risk of him absconding has increased.

Qatada, described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe, will remain in Belmarsh top security prison after today's ruling in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

He was returned to prison last month after it was alleged he had broken the terms of his bail by attempting to leave the UK. Today SIAC said that Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, was relying on information from the Security Services to justify the revocation of his bail.

In its judgment, SIAC said that Ms Smith's statement said, "the Security Service therefore assesses that the risk of Abu Qatada absconding have increased since his release in June 2008".

Mr Justice Mitting said in court, "the commission revokes bail and directs that Mohammad Ofman (Qatada's real name) be detained under immigration powers.

Neither Qatada nor his legal representative was in court for the ruling.

The 47-year old was released from Long Lartin top security jail in Worcestershire in June after the Government failed to have him deported.

He was fitted with an electronic tag, has no passport and was only allowed out of his home for two one-hour sessions a day under the strict bail conditions.

He also had no access to a computer or mobile phone. The Home Secretary welcomed today's decision and said she was pleased with the outcome.

Qatada was arrested by anti-terrorism police officers in February 2001 he had 170,000 cash in his possession, including 805 in an envelope marked "For the mujahedin in Chechnya".

He arrived in Britain more than 14 years ago on a forged United Arab Emirates passport to claim asylum, and went on the run in from the authorities in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Tapes of his sermons were found in a Hamburg flat used by some of the September 11 hijackers.

He had links with shoebomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, the "20th hijacker" in the September 11 plot, and once called on British Muslims to martyr themselves in a holy war on oppression.

He was also convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement with terror attacks in 1998, and of plotting to plant bombs at the Millennium.

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