Thorn in Britain's side, radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada, finally gone
LONDON — Britain's long-running attempts to deport a radical Muslim preacher described as a key al-Qaida supporter ended on Sunday when the the 53-year-old was flown to Jordan on terrorism charges.
Prime Minister David Cameron said he was absolutely “delighted” that Abu Qatada had finally been removed, saying the radical preacher's continued presence in Britain had made his “blood boil.”
Abu Qatada was first arrested in Britain over alleged terror connections in 2001 and has fought deportation since 2005 by appealing to European human rights courts.
Abu Qatada's arrival in his native Jordan brought to an end years of frustration in Britain, whose repeated attempts to send him back to his home country were blocked by the European courts. His deportation was approved only because Britain and Jordan signed a treaty to guarantee that evidence obtained under torture would not be used in his trial.
Abu Qatada was escorted from the London prison where he has spent most of the past eight years to an air force base for his transfer to Jordan. He arrived in Amman, the Jordanian capital, later Sunday morning and was immediately taken to a high-security prison.
British Home Secretary Theresa May said she was glad that the government's determination to remove him had been “vindicated. This dangerous man has now been removed from our shores to face the courts in his own country,” she said.
She said she wants to streamline such deportation processes in future.
“I am also clear that we need to make sense of our human rights laws and remove the many layers of appeals available to foreign nationals we want to deport,” May said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Buildings in West Bank settlement torn down by order of Israel’s Supreme Court
- Exiled Yemen leader orders anti-rebel fighters to merge with army to battle Houthis
- 2013 death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar confirmed
- Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- U.N. projects world’s population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, 11.2 billion by end of century
- Turkey to stick with air offensive in ISIS battle
- Saudis’ deadly airstrikes resume in Yemen
- Scientists warn about killer robots
- French students unearth 560,000-year-old tooth, oldest body part found in country
- Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
- Mexican human rights commission question government investigation into missing students