One might hope that he would now forfeit his $725,000 taxpayer-funded home — maybe the British authorities could give it to Tommy Robinson. “Abu Qatada arrested after terrorism police raids,” for the Guardian, March 9 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada is back in custody after allegedly breaching his bail conditions, days before the government makes a fresh attempt to deport him.
UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials arrested Qatada on Friday after raids by the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism unit. Searches at two houses and a business began on Thursday, while a search of a third property was continuing, Scotland Yard said.
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission was due to hold an urgent telephone hearing on Saturday afternoon to determine whether Abu Qatada would be granted bail, a spokesman for the Judicial Office said.
No arrests have been made in connection with the police investigation.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The UK Border Agency arrested a 52-year-old man from north London for alleged breaches of his bail conditions imposed by the special immigration appeals commission (Siac).” He said the breach would be considered by Siac as soon as possible.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “Searches at a residential address in north-west London, a residential address in west London and a business address in north-west London have been completed. A search at a residential address in north-west London is ongoing.”
The searches were carried out in connection with ongoing inquiries by the counter-terrorism command, he said.
Abu Qatada, who has been convicted of terrorism charges in Jordan, was due to appear at the court of appeal on Monday as part of efforts by the home secretary, Theresa May, to overturn a judge’s decision to allow him to stay in the UK.
Police raids on Abu Qatada’s home began at 6.30am on Thursday, Scotland Yard said, and were followed by his arrest by the UKBA on Friday.
Once described by a Spanish judge as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe”, Abu Qatada has fought deportation for more than a decade. Siac decided in November that he could not lawfully be deported to Jordan, where he was convicted of terrorism charges in his absence in 1999. Three Siac judges ruled there was a danger that evidence from Abu Qatada’s former co-defendants, Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher, said to have been obtained by torture, could be used against him in a retrial in Jordan….