Radical cleric Abu Qatada released from UK jail

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Story highlights

  • Abu Qatada was released on bail Tuesday
  • He won a legal battle to avoid deportation from the UK to face terror charges in Jordan
  • The British government says he raised money for terrorist groups
  • He denies the allegations and says he was tortured by Jordan

Radical cleric Abu Qatada was released from jail on bail Tuesday, following a successful appeal Monday against deportation from the United Kingdom to face terror charges in Jordan.

It's the latest stage in a long-running battle over British efforts to deport the man accused of funding terrorist groups and said to have inspired one of the 9/11 hijackers.

The British government says Abu Qatada raised money for terrorist groups, including organizations linked to former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and has publicly supported the violent activities of those groups.

Profile: Abu Qatada: the preacher at the eye of the storm

Videos of his preaching were found in a German apartment used by some of those involved in the 9/11 attacks on the United States, including ringleader Mohammed Atta.

Abu Qatada has denied the allegations against him.

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Also known as Omar Othman, Abu Qatada arrived in the United Kingdom in 1993 and applied for asylum on the grounds that he had been tortured by Jordanian authorities. He came to Britain on a forged United Arab Emirates passport, according to court documents, and claimed asylum for himself, his wife and their three children.

    Britain has been trying to deport Abu Qatada for years, but his legal appeals have kept him in the United Kingdom.

    In January, the European Court of Human Rights blocked Britain from sending him to Jordan because of fears that evidence obtained by torture could be used against him at the trial planned by the Middle Eastern country.

    Britain then launched a round of negotiations with Jordan in order to deal with the court's concerns and arrested Abu Qatada again on April 17.

    "The government strongly disagrees with this ruling. We have obtained assurances not just in relation to the treatment of Qatada himself, but about the quality of the legal processes that would be followed throughout his trial," a Home Office representative said.

    The representative said the government would appeal Monday's ruling.

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