Radical cleric Abu Qatada ordered back to UK jail

Story highlights

  • Abu Qatada had been out on bail
  • A judge said there is evidence he violated his bail conditions
  • He was ordered back to prison
  • The British government says he raised money for terrorist groups
A judge ordered radical cleric Abu Qatada back to prison Saturday after evidence suggested he had violated his bail conditions.
It's the latest development in a saga over British efforts to deport to Jordan the man accused of funding terrorist groups and said to have inspired one of the 9/11 hijackers.
The bail revocation came during a telephone hearing between a judge at the UK's Special Immigration Appeals Commission and lawyers from both sides.
The judge's order says there is evidence that Abu Qatada violated an order that prohibits him from allowing cell phones to be turned on in his house, and a ban on devices such as rewritable CDs and pen drives.
"There will be a further hearing in the matter (on March 21), giving both sides the opportunity to submit more evidence in the matter," the judicial press office said.
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.
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.
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.