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U.K. Arrests Radical Cleric in Deportation Bid | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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LONDON, (AP)— A radical Islamist cleric was arrested Tuesday in the U.K. and told the country’s government will resume attempts to deport him to his native Jordan following a protracted legal battle.

Authorities have been attempting to deport Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-Jordanian preacher described in both Spanish and British courts as a leading al Qaeda figure in Europe, since 2005, claiming he poses a risk to national security.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in January that Abu Qatada could not be deported because of a risk that evidence obtained through torture would be used against him in Jordan in a looming trial on terrorism charges.

The U.K. government now believes new assurances from Jordan over the cleric’s right to a fair trial mean his deportation can go ahead.

The Home Office said in a statement that U.K. Border Agency officers arrested Abu Qatada earlier Tuesday and “told him that we intend to resume deportation proceedings against him.”

Home Secretary Theresa May was scheduled to address lawmakers later Tuesday at the House of Commons.