Abu Qatada Could Further Radicalise Son Upon Release - Taxpayers To Fund His Protection
February 12, 2012
Qatada could now radicalise son, MPs warn
By Tom Whitehead, Security Editor
10:00PM GMT 12 Feb 2012
Qatada Othman, 18, shared a platform with radicals to accuse the West of "waging war" on Muslims and attacked the UK for locking up his father without charge.
Abu Qatada, who the courts have described as a "dangerous risk", is expected to be released from custody today after a judge granted him bail.
Despite strict bail conditions, he will have unrestricted access to his family and there was growing concern last night that he could now radicalise his teenage son.
There was also anger that the taxpayer will have to fund up to £10,000 a week to help protect Qatada from vigilante attacks once he is released.
His security monitoring is likely to cost more than half a million pounds a year and critics said that was as much to protect him as to protect the public from him.
James Brokenshire, the security minister, was due to fly to Jordan today in an urgent bid to gain necessary assurances that will allow the UK to deport Qatada.
He won bail after the European Court of Human Rights said he could not be returned to Jordan, where he has been convicted of terror offences in his absence, because he will not get a fair retrial amid concerns evidence to be used against him was obtained by torture.
The UK Government is seeking guarantees such evidence will not be used and he would face a fair trial.
A YouGov poll yesterday found seven in ten people thought Qatada should be deported regardless of whether he can be guaranteed a fair trial.
Once Qatada is released he will be subjected to a 22-hour curfew and will be restricted on who he can meet, with the exception of his immediate family.
It has led to concerns over the influence he may now wield on his children.
It has emerged that last summer Qatada Othman spoke at an event outside Belmarsh high security prison in south east London.
He spoke in fluent Arabic and appeared to support "places of Jihad" around the world and said the UK was not his "abode or home, even though he family have lived off benefits here from almost two decades.
Other speakers at the event included Abu Izzadeen, also known as Omar Brooks, who was jailed for four and a half years in 2008 for inciting terrorism abroad and terrorist fund-raising,. He later had his sentence reduced by a year on appeal.
Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, said: "Qatada Othman is only 18 but seems to be going through an apprenticeship in terror.
"It is a very fair bet that whatever happens to his father we will have similar problems with his son.
"The bail conditions make no provision for members of his family meaning young Qatada will be even further alienated by his father's views."
Peter Bone, another Conservative backbencher, added: "I am concerned about every aspect of this (Abu Qatada) case and he could radicalise his immediate family."
Othman could not be contacted for a comment.