An extremist Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada, once known as late Osama bin Laden’s aide, has been released from a British jail, Western and Arab media reported on Tuesday.
Qatada, who fled to Britain in 1993, was released on bail from the Long Lartin high-security prison in central England late on Monday, Al Arabiya said.
According to the BBC, the British government said that Qatada, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, was a threat to UK national security.
The European Court on Human Rights however ruled not to extradite the cleric to Jordan where he received a life sentence in absentia in 1999 for plotting terrorist attacks as he may be subjected to torture.
A spokeswoman for the British Home Office told AFP that Britain “was united” in getting Qatada deported.
“This government will exhaust all avenues open to get Qatada on a plane. If we do so, we will continue to negotiate with the Jordanians to see what assurances we can be given about the evidence used against Qatada in their court,” AFP quoted the spokeswoman as saying.
According to the bail conditions, Qatada will be put under 22-hour house arrest, allowed to leave his home for a maximum of one hour twice a day. He is banned from using the internet and telephone as well as attending a mosque.
Qatada is believed to have been the right-hand of bin Laden, the former al Qaeda leader, who was killed in a U.S. raid in May, 2011.