Source Pravda.Ru

Abu Qatada is in ten to be deported from Britain

The government has moved swiftly in its efforts to deport foreign terror suspects or those who encourage violence in the wake of the London bombings, including Abu Qatada, a radical Muslim cleric.

Six days after announcing new anti-terrorist measures in response to the July 7 and 21 attacks, 10 men were detained following raids by police and immigration officials in London, Luton, Leicestershire and the West Midlands.

The men were taken to Belmarsh, the high-security prison in south London, Boston Globe reports.

Hazel Blears, Home Office minister, said all 10 men were considered by the security services and the police as a threat to national security. Charles Clarke, the home secretary, had decided their presence in the country was not conducive to the public good.

The government fully expects the deportation process to take months and is bracing itself for a second showdown in the Lords following last December's decision by law lords that detention of foreign terror suspects without trial was incompatible with human rights obligations.

The men are being detained pending deportation under the 1971 Immigration Act. In the past, foreign terror suspects held in Belmarsh could not be expelled because of human rights concerns about their home countries. The government now believes it can use diplomatic assurances to convince courts to deport them.

Abu Qatada, a radical Muslim cleric described as Osama bin Laden's "spiritual ambassador in Europe," is among 10 foreigners detained, a government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, according to Houston Chronicle.

After 9/11, Abu Qatada was named by the US Treasury Department as a terrorist supporter and his assets were frozen. Weeks after the attacks, he railed publicly against "corrupt" Western governments and spoke of his "respect" for bin Laden.

The British government said 18 videotapes of Abu Qatada's sermons were found in a Hamburg flat used by three of the Sept. 11 hijackers, AP reports.

In 1998, a Jordanian military court found Abu Qatada and eight other alleged militants guilty of conspiring to detonate bombs that year outside an Amman hotel, a school, and under the cars of two government officials. The blasts caused no casualties.

The Jordanian court, which sentenced Abu Qatada in absentia to 15 years in jail, said the nine men belonged to a previously unknown group, "Al-Islah wal-Tahadi" or Reform and Challenge.

In 2000, Abu Qatada was again convicted in his absence in Jordan on charges of conspiring to attack U.S. and Israeli tourists during the kingdom's millennium celebrations. He was again sentenced to 15 years in jail.

The government fully expects the deportation process to take months and is bracing itself for a second showdown in the Lords following last December's decision by law lords that detention of foreign terror suspects without trial was incompatible with human rights obligations.

The men are being detained pending deportation under the 1971 Immigration Act. In the past, foreign terror suspects held in Belmarsh could not be expelled because of human rights concerns about their home countries. The government now believes it can use diplomatic assurances to convince courts to deport them.