Abu Qatada was not enough. “Second al-Qaeda leader to be freed in Britain,” from the Times, June 28 (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
Secret negotiations have taken place to arrange the release from a British jail of one of al-Qaeda’s most important operatives in Europe, The Times has learnt.
The prisoner, who can be identified only as U, is expected to be released from the high-security wing at Long Lartin jail next week.
Appeal Court judges ruled in April that the man, a 45-year-old Algerian veteran of al-Qaeda’s Afghan training camps, should be freed on bail. But discussions between security agencies and U”s lawyers became deadlocked over the conditions restricting his movements and whom he can meet when he leaves prison.
The authorities are understood to have sought bail terms more stringent than the 22-hour curfew imposed on the radical cleric Abu Qatada when he was freed last week. These conditions would require U to spend all his time indoors.
Security agencies blocked requests for U to live in London claiming that he has extensive contacts among extremist Islamist groups there. They also objected to an address in Brighton. U will be required to wear an electronic tag, subjected to round-the-clock monitoring and forbidden to use the internet or a mobile phone.
When the agreement is finalised the details will be passed to a judge who can release U from the prison in Worcestershire without any further court hearing. The Home Office refused to comment on the situation beyond saying it was seeking “the strictest bail conditions” possible.
While Abu Qatada is a preacher whose role in the al-Qaeda network is to justify and encourage jihad, U is alleged to be a terrorist leader who recruited, trained and facilitated operations. Members of his group, which was formed with the personal approval of Osama bin Laden, have been convicted in the US of a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport in December 1999 and, in Germany, of a plan to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market a year later….