Abu Qatada’s bail conditions were under review last night after security experts said allowing the hate preacher to associate with a convicted terrorist made a ‘mockery’ of the rules.
Home Office officials are investigating the Daily Mail’s exclusive picture showing Qatada – dubbed ‘Osama Bin Laden’s ambassador in Europe’ – strolling through London with fellow fanatic Yasser Al-Sirri.
Incredibly, Al-Sirri, who was convicted in Egypt and sentenced to death in absentia for his part in a 1993 car bomb attack – was not included on a list of more than 20 extremists with whom the preacher of hate is banned from associating.
Whitehall sources said the Home Office is reviewing the evidence to see whether there are grounds to ask the courts to add Al-Sirri to the list.
They will also investigate claims that Qatada, whose bail conditions forbid the use of a mobile phone, was using Al-Sirri to pass on messages.
The Mail’s picture, first published on Saturday, appeared to show Al-Sirri talking into a mobile after listening to an instruction from Qatada, who is under a 22-hour curfew.
Describing the bail conditions as ‘nonsense’, Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a security adviser to the Prime Minister, said: ‘Yasser Al-Sirri is a dangerous individual. The fact he is allowed to associate with Abu Qatada makes a mockery of Qatada’s bail conditions.
‘The Home Office has got to stop its tinkering and ensure that proper checks and measures are in place to protect the public from extremists. That includes adding Al-Sirri to the list of those Qatada cannot associate with.’
Al-Sirri, 46, is a former member of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad. In 1993, the group attempted to assassinate the then Egyptian prime minister using a car bomb outside a girls’ school. The attack failed, but a 12-year-old girl was killed in the blast.
Al-Sirri had left Egypt the previous year and claimed he had no direct role in the attack.
Although Egypt has repeatedly called for his extradition, Britain has refused. Home Office officials are now trying to establish whether Al-Sirri was considered and discounted from their list, or if there was an oversight.
Islam and Terrorism
Islamic terrorism is inspired by the concept of ‘lesser Jihad’ (holy warfare against the enemies of Allah and Islam). Muslims disagree among each other as to what is or is not acceptable in ‘lesser Jihad.’ For instance, while many Muslims speak out against terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam, others approve of such acts under certain conditions. […more…]