Abu Qatada's mother calls for hate preacher son to be deported to Jordan
ABU Qatada’s mother, Aisha Othman, has joined calls for the hate preacher to be sent back to Jordan after he was freed onto Britain’s streets last night.
Mrs Othman, 70, said her son would be better off returning home to face trial in Jordan after he was released from prison under some of the most draconian bail conditions ever imposed by a British court.
Speaking from her home in the Jordanian capital Amman, Mrs Othman told the Daily Mail: “Britain is very wrong to keep my son.
“He has been away too long. We want him home now.
"I don’t know why the British keep him. There is no good reason. I can’t see why they would want him.
Qatada was freed from Long Lartin top security jail but will be banned from holding lengthy conversations with anyone beyond his family.
He will not be allowed to leave his home for 22 hours a day — including going into his garden and is prohibited from using a mobile phone, computer or the internet.
Officials hope that the measures will prove temporary as James Brokenshire, the security minister, prepares to fly to Jordan, where Qatada has been convicted in his absence of terrorism-related offences.
The European Court of Human Rights blocked Britain from deporting the 51-year-old Islamist cleric to Jordan after ruling that he might not receive a fair trial.
Mrs Othman insisted her son was not a terrorist but his brother and a close friend said he was in regular phone contact with Osama Bin Laden until 2001 and regarded the late Al Qaeda leader as a “wise man”.
They said Qatada supported jihadist groups in Algeria and Libya but denied he had any involvement in terror attacks in Jordan.
His younger brother, Ibrahim Abu Omar Othman, 32, said: “I wish very much to have him back, of course.
"But I am worried he will be tortured if he returns if there is not a special agreement to say he cannot be harmed and that he will have fair treatment by the authorities."
Hassan Abu Hanyiah, an old school friend of Qatada, added: “He spoke to Bin Laden many, many times by phone, although they never met in person because they were never in the same country together.
“Before September 11, speaking to Bin Laden was not a big deal. He admired Bin Laden as a wise man who knew many things. He liked and respected him a lot.”
The courts have described Qatada as a “dangerous risk”. He is specifically not allowed any contact with 27 people, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda leader.
Under the bail conditions, if he meets an acquaintance in a chance encounter, he “must, after any initial greeting, disengage himself from the situation”. Another condition stops him from leading prayers, giving lectures or preaching, other than to offer advice to his wife and children at his home.
David Cameron is under mounting pressure to find a way of deporting Qatada, even if it means defying the European court.
Jordan said on Monday it would “very soon” approach the court with new guarantees that Qatada would be treated fairly if he was deported. “[The law] mentions very expressly that any evidence obtained from torture or a threat of torture should not be admissible before the courts in Jordan,” said Ayman Odeh, the justice minister.
“We are confident that once we have the chance to make this statement through the diplomatic channels … [it] will be taken into consideration.”
Jordan passed an amendment banning evidence obtained from torture last September.
Home Office sources said Jordan’s new efforts should not be considered a “quick fix”, meaning Qatada could remain free in Britain for months.
The taxpayer will have to fund up to 60 police officers at a cost of about £10,000 a week to protect the extremist preacher from vigilante attacks.
Peter Bone, a senior Conservative backbencher, called for the Government to deport Qatada and “worry about the consequences of the European Court later”.
“Other countries have done this in the past: Italy did it, they put their national interests first,” he said. “They put the interests of saving the lives of men, women and children in Italy before the so-called rights of an extremist terrorist and nothing really happened to Italy. We should act in that way. Send him home.”
On Monday, a Downing Street spokesman did not rule out the possibility of a deportation in defiance of the European Court. “We are committed to removing him from the country,” he said. “We want to see him deported. We are looking at all the options for doing that.”