LONDON: Hard-line cleric Mahmoud Othman (Abu Qatada) Abu Qatada has been refused bail after “jihadist material” was found on a computer memory stick.
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) refused the application from Abu Qatada, who was locked up in Belmarsh prison in March after allegedly breaching a bail condition which prevents him from turning mobile phones on in his house.
Abu Qatada, who recently promised to voluntarily leave the UK after years fighting deportation, must remain in custody after the immigration judge’s ruling.
In handing down its ruling, the court said: “We regard these breaches as serious. It was the appellant’s obligation to understand the conditions of bail and ensure they were adhered to.
“A serious matter relating to the breaches of bail was revealed during the hearing. “In his witness statement, the appellant assured the commission that nothing would be found on any of these items other than schoolwork or other innocent material.
“This assurance has proved untrue. Significant jihadist material has been found on a USB stick seized.”
The court also said there was “no doubt about the national security threat” Abu Qatada poses to Britain.
“The essence of that is promulgation of his views in support of violence, and the potential effect on others of that promulgation,” it said.
“This appellant has in the past fled in order to avoid a court order, equipping himself with a false passport.
“He is highly intelligent, has a range of sympathetic and supportive contacts, and his risk to national security is undiminished.
“We reject the submission that he can, even now, be relied on to comply with his legal obligations and not to attempt to abscond.”
lier Siac hearing, Abu Qatada’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald said his vow to return removed any risk that he would abscond if released on bail.
Abu Qatada is also being investigated by Scotland Yard over suspected extremist material found during the search of his home.
The Metropolitan Police passed on the material to Danish authorities to reportedly investigate a connection with a controversial publisher.
Copenhagen police said they had subsequently arrested a man, who is understood to be Said Mansour, a Moroccan-born Dane who was jailed for three and a half years in 2007 for promoting “terrorism.”