Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada is arrested at his Brent home
Father-of-five is held by UK Border Agency as the government takes steps to deport him to Jordan
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada who is facing terrorism charges in Jordan has been arrested at his Brent home.
The Home Office announced that officers from the UK Border Agency arrested the 51-year-old this morning as the government prepare to set out its next steps in extraditing him to Jordan.
The move came as Home Secretary Theresa May prepared to update MPs this afternoon on the steps being taken to deport the father-of-five, described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe.
Qatada, who has always denied any wrong doing, was first arrested after the 9/11 attacks following allegations he was one of the most influential Islamist preachers in Europe.
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In February, he was released from a maximum security jail and moved into the borough.
He lives in a rented �500,000 terrace family home under strict bail conditions which includes only being allowed to leave the property for two hours a day.
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He is banned from attending a mosque, leading prayers, publishing any statement or meeting 27 named individuals. He is also not allowed to use a phone or the internet.
Europe’s human rights judges have ruled Qatada cannot be deported to Jordan without assurances that evidence gained through torture will not be used in his upcoming terror trial.
Mrs May will address MPs as the deadline for any appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights passes at midnight.
She is not expected to appeal as the Home Office has been working to secure a deal with the Jordanian government in which it would give guarantees that torture evidence would not be used.
But any move to deport him with these assurances is likely to be challenged in court by Qatada’s legal team.