Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Abu Qatada: Britain Says Radical Cleric Can't Come Back after Acquittal in Jordan

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Abu Qatada: Britain Says Radical Cleric Can't Come Back after Acquittal in Jordan

Article excerpt

Radical Islamist preacher Abu Qatada was cleared of terror charges by a Jordanian court today, but British authorities quickly ruled out any possibility of his return to the United Kingdom, where he was granted asylum 20 years ago.

The court acquitted Abu Qatada, who infuriated the British government with his impassioned speeches in support of Al Qaeda, of involvement in a plot to target Israeli and American tourists as well as Western diplomats during millennium celebrations in Jordan, according to the Associated Press.

The ruling punctuates a 15-year legal battle saga that played out in Britain and Jordan. Abu Qatada was deported to Jordan last year after fighting extradition from Britain for years.

The court's ruling Wednesday bookends another case, involving a plan to attack an American school in Amman in 1999, for which he was acquitted in June, according to the AP.

Britain's Home Office moved quickly to reiterate its stance from earlier this summer: Abu Qatada will not be allowed back.

"He can't come back, and he won't come back. He is a Jordanian and he does not have a UK passport. He is also the subject of an indefinite deportation order as well. He would not be granted permission to enter the UK, end of story," the office said, according to The Guardian.

Home Secretary Theresa May, who headed UK government efforts to remove Abu Qatada, also cited a UN travel ban, the BBC reported.

Abu Qatada arrived in Britain in 1993, and was granted refugee status a year later because he had been tortured by Jordanian authorities, the Monitor reported.

But British authorities began to revise their opinion of him after he vocally espoused a militant Islam, giving sermons that urged suicide attacks and the targeting of Jews.

In response to the verdict, which surprised many, Britain's immigration and security minister, James Brokenshire, said: "it is right that the due process of law has taken place in Jordan," according to the AP. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.