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UK to appeal ruling in Abu Qatada case

Muslim Cleric Abu Qatada arrives home after being released from prison on November 13, 2012 in London, England.

Story highlights

  • British government continues its bid to deport Abu Qatada, also known as Omar Othman
  • The radical cleric is accused of funding terrorist groups and inspiring one of the 9/11 hijackers
  • Abu Qatada denies the allegations against him and has long fought his deportation to Jordan

The British government isn't giving up its fight to get radical cleric Abu Qatada out of the UK.

On Wednesday, it asked for permission to appeal last month's ruling by the Court of Appeal in London that denied the government from deporting Abu Qatada to Jordan.

READ MORE: UK loses latest attempt to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada

"The Government remains committed to deporting this dangerous man and we continue to work with the Jordanians to address the outstanding legal issues preventing deportation," the Home Office said.

A Jordanian national, Abu Qatada is wanted in his home country and has been been tried and convicted in absentia on two charges of conspiracy to cause explosions, court documents say.

In January 2012, the European Court of Human Rights blocked Britain from sending him to Jordan because of fears that evidence obtained by torture could be used against him at the trial planned by the Middle Eastern country.

    The Home Secretary decided last April that assurances given by the Jordanian government had eliminated that risk and ordered that his deportation go ahead.

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    But Abu Qatada appealed to the UK's Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which found in November that "there still existed a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice."

    The Court of Appeal ruled last month that May's appeal against that SIAC ruling was not justified.

    UK authorities accuse Abu Qatada of raising funds for terrorist groups, including organizations linked to the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and say he has publicly supported the violent activities of those groups.

    Videos of his preaching were found in a German apartment used by some of those involved in the 9/11 attacks on the United States, including ringleader Mohammed Atta.

    Abu Qatada has denied the allegations against him.

    Also known as Omar Othman, Abu Qatada arrived in the United Kingdom in 1993 and applied for asylum on the grounds that he had been tortured by Jordanian authorities. He came to Britain on a forged United Arab Emirates passport, according to court documents, and claimed asylum for himself, his wife and their three children.

    Britain has been trying to deport Abu Qatada since 2005, but his legal appeals have kept him in the country.

    He was ordered back to prison earlier this month after evidence suggested he had violated his bail conditions. These include an order that prohibits him from allowing cell phones to be turned on in his house, and a ban on devices such as rewritable CDs and flash drives.

    READ MORE: Abu Qatada: the preacher at the eye of the storm