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'Osama's right-hand man in Europe' gets bail despite posing 'grave threat to UK national security'

London, Tue, 07 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 7 (ANI): Abu Qatada, a radical Muslim cleric described as 'Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" will be released on bail within days, despite accusations that he poses a grave threat to Britain's security.


Qatada was granted bail after the European Court of Human Rights ruled last month that he could not be deported to his native Jordan.


His bail conditions mean he is likely to be confined to his home except for two one-hour periods each day, and will probably be allowed to take one of his five children to school, The Telegraph reports.


Restrictions on his movement are likely to be lifted if the Home Secretary fails to show within three months that progress is being made in negotiations with Jordan regarding his extradition.


According to the paper, the decision to release Qatada, a 51-year-old father of five, means he can return home and will be able to claim up to 1,000 pounds a month in state benefits. The taxpayer will also have to foot up to 500,000 pounds a year for his security surveillance.


Critics attacked the decision as a "disgrace", while the Home Office warned that Qatada remained "a dangerous man" who posed a "real threat to our security".


Qatada is believed to have spent longer in custody "than any other detainee in modern immigration history", according to his legal team.


He arrived in Britain on a forged passport in 1993. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in absence in Jordan in 1999 for conspiracy to carry out bomb attacks. He was first detained in Britain in 2002, when an immigration court described him as a "truly dangerous individual". (ANI)


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