You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Radical cleric released on bail in England

LONDON - Abu Qatada, a radical Muslim cleric who British officials say is an Al Qaeda figurehead and a threat to national security, was freed from an English prison into virtual house arrest, judicial officials said yesterday.

The 51-year-old extremist preacher, who is fighting extradition to Jordan, had been held at the Long Lartin jail in central England. The Palestinian-Jordanian cleric has spent more than six years in prison, but a tribunal ruled last week he should be released on bail.

Continue reading below

The terms of his bail, published by the judiciary, require Abu Qatada to wear an electronic tag and to stay inside his home for 22 hours each day. He is not allowed a mobile phone, a computer, or Internet access, and he is barred from communicating with a long list of individuals, including Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The conditions also stipulate he must not lead prayers, give lectures, publish articles, preach, or provide religious instruction or advice, “other than to his wife and children at his residence.’’

Abu Qatada has been described in Spanish and British courts as a leading Al Qaeda figure in Europe. He is reported to have had close ties to the late Osama bin Laden.

British officials say he poses a serious threat to the country’s security, but attempts to deport him to Jordan to face terrorism charges were blocked by the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled last month that there is a risk evidence obtained through torture would be used against him in court.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said yesterday that Britain still hoped to overcome the European’s courts objections. Abu Qatada has never been charged with a crime in Britain, although authorities have accused him of advising militants and raising money for terrorist attacks.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.