Every advantage handed to him, and he blew it
“Muslim cleric Abu Qatada held over bail breach,” by David Leppard in the Sunday Times, November 9 :
The terror suspect Abu Qatada “” once described by a judge as Osama Bin Laden’s “right-hand man” in Europe “” was arrested at his west London home yesterday.
According to supporters he was “forcibly arrested” at 7.30am and taken to Belmarsh prison. Sources said he was due before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) this week; he is believed either to have broken bail conditions or to have been planning to do so.
Qatada was released from Long Lartin prison in June after winning his fight against deportation to Jordan, where he was convicted in his absence of involvement in terror attacks. Since then he has been living under strict bail conditions, pending a hearing at the House of Lords. An eight-page list of the conditions, includes putting him under a 22-hour curfew. He is also tagged and forbidden from using mobile phones, computers or the internet.
The SIAC deals with appeals in cases where the home secretary uses his power to deport someone from the UK on national security grounds. It described Qatada in March 2004 as a “truly dangerous individual at the centre of Al-Qaeda’s activities in the UK”.