Abu Qatada


Who: Palestinian-Jordanian Muslim radical cleric.

What: Once described as ‘Osama bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe.’

Where: Born in Bethlehem, when it was under Jordanian occupation.

Why: Deported from the UK to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

When: Born 1959 or 1960.

Abu Qatada was born Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman in then-Jordanian-controlled Bethlehem in 1960. He spent his early life in Jordan, before fleeing to Pakistan in 1989 and becoming a professor of sharia sciences. In 1993 he fled to Britain, using a forged UAE passport and claiming asylum on grounds of religious persecution, which was granted in June 1994. He praised the September 11 attacks, issued a fatwa (death sentence under Islamic law) advocating the killing of converts from Islam, and has encouraged the killing of Jews. In 1999, he was sentenced in absentia by Jordan to life imprisonment on terrorism offences. Tapes of his sermons were found in the Hamburg apartment used by some of the 9/11 attackers. The British government then began a campaign to deport him, which was stalled several times due to the allegation that evidence against him was obtained by torture in Jordan. He was finally deported on July 7th, 2013, after the UK and Jordanian governments offered him assurance of a fair trial.

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