Skip to comments.Britain to deport 10 foreigners seen as threat
Posted on 08/11/2005 4:57:09 PM PDT by Pharmboy
Britain detained 10 people on Thursday who it said were a threat to national security and said it planned to deport them. In a statement, Home Secretary Charles Clarke, pictured here in Brussels July 13, 2005, said the presence of the 10 unnamed foreign nationals was 'not conducive to the public good'. (Thierry Roge/Reuters)
Britain detained 10 people on Thursday, including the alleged spiritual leader of al Qaeda in Europe, saying they were a threat to national security and would be deported.
Jordanian national Abu Qatada, also accused by Spanish prosecutors of being an inspiration for those who launched the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was one of those held, his lawyer Gareth Peirce said.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been under pressure to take tough action against foreign nationals who incite terrorism after four British Muslim bombers killed themselves and 52 other people in attacks on London's transport system on July 7.
The government spelled out plans last week to boot out hardline Islamists it believes are inciting or glorifying militant attacks and has signed agreements with some countries, including Jordan, to return them.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke said the presence of the 10 foreign nationals was "not conducive to the public good."
"We now have good reason to believe that we can get necessary assurances from the countries to which we will return the deportees so that they will not be subject to torture or ill-treatment," Clarke said in a statement.
Human rights groups said such promises were worthless.
The detentions came the same day that 10 people appeared in court under anti-terrorism laws over a botched attempt to bomb London two weeks after the first attack. All have been charged with keeping information from police hunting suspects.
In a separate court hearing on Thursday, Briton Haroon Rashid Aswat, held on a U.S. extradition warrant and accused of plotting to set up a militant training camp in Oregon, was remanded in custody until September.
"TRULY DANGEROUS INDIVIDUAL"
Britain has said in court papers that Qatada, 44, is a "truly dangerous individual ... at the center in the United Kingdom of terrorist activities associated with al Qaeda."
He was sentenced in Jordan to life imprisonment in absentia for involvement in terrorist attacks there in 1998.
Clarke said the men were detained on Thursday by immigration officers backed by the police under existing powers available to him under the UK's Immigration Act and would be held in prison.
Lawyer Peirce, who represents seven detainees, said the group included one man seized from a psychiatric hospital.
"People have been whisked off to prison and we are being denied access to them," she said. "Now it's suddenly fine to deport people who for years the government has said it was unsafe to do so. It's quite extraordinary."
Britain rushed through laws after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, giving police the power to hold foreign terrorism suspects indefinitely without charge or trial.
After the UK's top court ruled this illegal, the powers were replaced with new legislation which allowed the government to impose restrictions on suspects including house arrest.
Britain is holding 10 people under these "control orders," including Qatada. The Home Office said some of those it planned to deport were being held under control orders.
Clamour for the government to take action has grown in the last week after some foreign Muslim preachers condoned the July attacks on London.
British-based cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who condemned the bombings but said he would not inform police if he knew other attacks were planned, was detained by Lebanese authorities on Thursday.
Lebanese security officials gave no reason why Bakri, who left Britain on Saturday, had been held.
This is so great. About time! I think it's bound to have a deterrent effect and send shockwaves into the entire muslim-harboring world.
Good, while the form of treachery varies slightly from person to person, they always manage to take the position or actions that most undermines British security.
Now we know why in other certain other countries, these trouble makers are simply put to death.
It's a start.
Well !! I'm gleefully happy they are going back to paradise & it must have been he11 for em. Kinda hope too their congregation heads back too.
There are brain-damaged lefties everywhere...
It's a step in the right direction but it will take another terrorist attack before the government does what is really needed -- hang the clerics, deport their congregations.
"Jordanian national Abu Qatada"
He would be very likely subjected to this form of internment instead of his death penalty:
Hopefully they won't take up residence in Canada or Mexico.
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