Abu Qatada arrested over 'bail breach'

Abu Qatada Abu Qatada has been fighting deportation to Jordan for more than a decade

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Radical cleric Abu Qatada has been arrested for allegedly breaching his bail conditions, days before a new government bid to have him deported.

He was arrested by UK Border Agency officials on Friday, a day after raids in London by counter-terrorism police.

Officers searched two homes and a search of a third property was ongoing.

On Monday, the government will go to the Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn a judge's decision to allow Abu Qatada to stay in the UK.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The UK Border Agency arrested a 52-year-old man from north London for alleged breaches of his bail conditions imposed by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac)."

He added the case would be considered by Siac at the earliest opportunity.

Abu Qatada's strict bail conditions include only being allowed out of his house between 08:00 and 16:00, having to wear an electronic tag, and being restricted in who he meets.

No arrests have been made in connection with the counter-terrorism operation.

Abu Qatada's bail conditions

  • Tagged and allowed out of his home only between 08:00 and 16:00
  • Banned from travelling on the Tube, or by train, car, motorbike or bus
  • Banned from contacting a number of named individuals
  • Only family members, his lawyer, emergency workers and social workers can enter his home without approval
  • Banned from using mobile phones, computers and other devices
  • Banned from attending mosques, leading prayers and giving lectures
  • Needs approval to take a job or enrol on a course
  • Allowed one bank account and must surrender his passport

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Searches at a residential address in north-west London, a residential address in west London and a business address in north-west London have been completed.

"A search at a residential address in north-west London is ongoing."

Abu Qatada has been found guilty of terrorism offences in his absence in Jordan, where he faces a retrial for allegedly conspiring to cause explosions targeting Western and Israeli targets before the year 2000.

But Siac ruled that Jordan had not proved Abu Qatada's retrial would be free of evidence obtained by torture.

Home Secretary Theresa May will challenge this decision in front of three Court of Appeal judges led by Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, on Monday.

Abu Qatada, 52, was granted bail following the decision by the Siac judges in November last year and released from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire.

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