Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada is living in Brent
Preacher faces charges of terrorism in Jordan
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada, who is accused of being a dangerous extremist preacher, is living in Brent.
The 51-year-old has been holed up in the �500,000 terrace family home since his release from a maximum security jail on Monday.
The European Court of Human Rights stopped his deportation from the UK to Jordan to face charges of terrorism because it was concerned he maybe tortured.
A reporter from the Times visited the house yesterday where the father-of-five, whose real name is Omar Othman, is living.
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Police cars have been spotted driving up and down the road frequently passing the safe-house which also has a number of satellite dishes.
Qatada was freed under strict bail conditions this week which includes only being allowed to leave the house 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.
Opinions were divided among the community about his release.
A 71-year-old grandmother, who wished not to be named, said: “Send him back where he belongs. This country is in such a bad state. But we are paying to keep him here. It is costing us a fortune.
“There are people living in poverty here with no jobs. Why should he be allowed to stay at a cost to the taxpayer?”
But a 50-year-old man, who also asked for his name not to be identified, said: “As long as he is kept an eye on then I think it is okay. It is safer for everyone if we know where he is instead of sending him back.”
Talks were taking place today between British and Jordanian ministers about his future.
Qatada was first arrested after the 9/11 attacks following allegations he was one of the most influential Islamist preachers in Europe.
A judge even called him Osama Bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe. But Qatada has always denied this.
The UK has three months to prove he will get a fair trial in Jordan before his bail conditions are lifted.