From CNN.com International/Europe
2/18/09 LONDON, England (CNN) — The UK’s highest court Wednesday ordered that the man known as Osama bin Laden’s spiritual ambassador to Europe be deported to Jordan, despite claims that he faces torture.
The court also ordered that two Algerians, known only as “RB” and “U,” be deported to Algeria.
Radical cleric Abu Qatada, also known as Omar Othman, has been engaged in a long-running campaign to remain in the UK since he arrived 16 years ago.
UK ministers have described Qatada as an “inspiration” for terrorists such as Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker behind the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
The government has claimed that he is a national security risk who fundraised for terrorist groups, including organizations linked to bin Laden; and that he publicly supported the violent activities of those groups.
In his judgment Jonathan Mance, one of the law lords, ruled “there is no real risk that his trial in Jordan would be flagrantly unfair in character, course or consequences.”
Nicholas Phillips, another of the law lords, added in his ruling: “Just as in the case of Algeria, these assurances were agreed in principle at the highest level in discussions between the prime minister and the king of Jordan and between the foreign secretary and the Jordanian foreign minister.”
Qatada has denied the allegations. It is expected that he will appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights.
Welcoming the judgment, UK interior minister Jacqui Smith said: “I’m delighted with the Lords’ decision today in the cases of Abu Qatada and the two Algerians ‘RB and U’. It highlights the threat these individuals pose to our nation’s security and vindicates our efforts to remove them.
“My top priority is to protect public safety and ensure national security and I have signed Abu Qatada’s deportation order which will be served on him today. I am keen to deport this dangerous individual as soon as I can.”
Qatada came to the UK on a forged United Arab Emirates passport in 1993, according to court documents, and claimed asylum for himself, his wife and their three children.
The UK government recognized him as a refugee and allowed him to stay in the country until 1998.
Qatada applied to stay indefinitely but, while his application was pending, a Jordanian court convicted him in absentia for involvement in two 1998 terrorist attacks and a plot to plant bombs to coincide with the millennium.
By 2002 the UK government said it suspected Qatada was a terrorist and a national security risk. Refusing him leave to stay in Britain, it ordered he be deported and detained him.
Last June a three-judge appeals panel freed Qatada under strict bail conditions, including fitting him with an electronic monitoring tag and ordering that he stay at home for 22 hours each day.
The panel said there was no reason to continue holding him but that he presented a “continuing and significant” threat.
The deportation decision Wednesday by the Law Lords followed the government’s appeal against that decision.
Duckworth to the Rescue
But human rights group Amnesty International said it was “gravely concerned” by the consequences of the decision.
“What is not acceptable is to use suspicion of involvement in terrorism to justify sending someone to face a real risk of torture or other serious violations of their rights,” said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International, in a statement.
“If these individuals in question are reasonably suspected of having committed a criminal offence relating to terrorism, it is always open to the UK authorities to charge them and give them a fair trial.
“It would be deeply worrying if the Law Lords’ decision were to be taken by the UK government as a green light to push ahead with deporting people to countries where they will be at risk of abuses such as torture and unfair trials.”Duckworth also said that diplomatic assurances from the governments of Algeria and Jordan about the suspects safety were “completely unenforceable and as such cannot be relied upon.”
A note from Radarsite: So how are we in the West doing so far in this Global War on Terror? Are you becoming as troubled and disillusioned as I am by our deeply conflicted and weak-kneed Western Civilization? How many enemies do we really have? Who amongst them are the most dangerous? To what degree have our so-called Human Rights Groups successfully undermined our efforts to prosecute this war for our survival? To what degree have they aided and abetted our sworn enemies? Could the monsters they are so eagerly protecting be any more obvious in their contempt for our self-righteous moral principles, or any more blatant in their sacred mission to destroy us?
If the above story of the embattled UK’s continuously thwarted attempts to deal with the monster Abu Qatada is an example of our efficacy in fighting this great existential battle, and I believe that it is, then we might just as well give it all up and, as some of Britain’s most prestigious intellectuals have already suggested, start the process of adopting sharia law.
And to Madam Duckworth and all of your contemptible brothers and sisters in the International Red Cross, the ACLU, etc. I must say this. I despise you and everything you supposedly stand for. The only legitimate place for you to even exist would be in a world of unadulterated like-minded liberals; and we live in no such world. In the brutal reality of the world in which we live you and your liberal causes are worse than useless, they are self-destructive. In order to protect the likes of Abu Qatada, in order to promote your absurd vision of international social justice, you are placing the lives of our children in mortal peril. Devastated by this escalating Muslim Blitz, your great nation is falling to pieces all around you, and you steadfastly ignore the chaos and stand amidst the smoldering ruins and call for fair play and amnesty. You, Madam Duckworth, are the enemy, perhaps even more dangerous than the monsters you defend. You are the true Enemy of the State, and in a more rational world you would have already been arrested and summarily prosecuted for treason. How dare you! How dare you jeopardize the precious lives of our children and bring down the very foundations of our great and admirable culture in order to promote your personal ludicrous and delusional agendas.
Put aside your ponderous egos for a moment and listen closely. If you truly want to help this imperiled world of ours survive this present-day onslaught of barbarism, if you truly want to make a safer and more just world for our next generation, then I suggest that you go into your offices tomorrow morning and disconnect all the computers and the fax machines, pull out the plugs for all of your telephones, turn out the lights and lock the door behind you. For it is possible, perhaps still possible that, without your infernal meddling, without your relentless self-satisfied obstructionism, we just might stand a chance of winning this terrible war, this monumental life-and-death struggle, which you have so ingeniously managed to all but ignore. Please, if you truly love mankind, just turn out the lights and go home. – rg