LONDON (AP) — Extremist preacher Abu Qatada — once described as Osama bin Laden’s ambassador in Europe — can be deported to Jordan, Britain’s highest court ruled Wednesday.
Abu Qatada is accused of being a threat to national security, of raising funds for terror groups and of providing spiritual guidance to Islamic terrorists.
British authorities have been trying to deport him to Jordan, where he has been convicted for his role in two bombings, but appeals courts had ruled that he could not be sent there because he could face torture.
The Home Office appealed, and the Law Lords on Wednesday reversed the appeal court ruling.
Abu Qatada — whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman — arrived in Britain in 1993 and claimed asylum for himself and his family.
The lawyers for Abu Qatada and three other men who were also accused of terror offenses will appeal their cases to the European Court of Human Rights. None of the men will be deported while that appeal is pending, said Tom Porteous, London director of Human Rights Watch.