UK releases Muslim cleric aligned with Bin Laden
LONDON – A UK court freed a radical Islamist cleric described as Osama bin Laden’s righthand man after it ruled Tuesday that he might not get a fair trial if he were deported to Jordan.
Abu Qatada is one of the most influential Islamist clerics in Europe. He featured in hate sermons found on videos in the apartment of Muhammad Atta, the leader of the September 11 bombers. In a speech in London in 1999, he advocated the killing of Jews and praised attacks on Americans.
It is the latest embarrassment for the British government, which has tried for 11 years to deport the preacher to Jordan where he faces terrorism charges.
Abu Qatada’s own defense team suggested he posed a "grave risk” to Britain’s national security.
British taxpayers spend $8.3 million a year on round the clock surveillance of his home. (continue reading...)