Suspected Al Qaeda leader Abu Qatada is celebrating his release from prison with the release of a book in which he urges Muslims to commit terrorist attacks in the West.
Security sources say his clear incitement to violence makes a mockery of the decision to set him free.
The preacher of hate, who has been described as Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, was released on bail from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire on Tuesday after the blocking of his deportation to Jordan, where he is wanted on terror charges.
A judge ruled there were no grounds to keep him in jail, but the Special Immigration Appeals Commission imposed unprecedented conditions on his release, including a stipulation that he observe a 22-hour curfew and wear an electronic tag.
He will be under round-the-clock surveillance in a MI5 safehouse and is specifically banned from contacting Bin Laden.
Counter-terrorism officials believe that Qatada, 47, remains a grave threat to national security and will be furious to learn he has yet again flouted the law by publishing his sickening views as he is set free.
The revelations are likely to prompt demands for a new investigation into whether Qatada should be charged with inciting murder and racial hatred.
A senior security source said: ‘The contents of the book are an affront to all decent people. By publishing it now, Qatada and his supporters are giving the two-fingered salute to the criminal justice system.’
Referring to supporters of democracy, Qatada proclaims in his book that ‘rising up against them with weapons and with force is an individual obligation upon every Muslim’.
He says Muslims should ‘ prepare to terrorise the enemies of Allah and incite believers to fight’.
Twenty-stone Qatada arrived in Britain 14 years ago on a forged passport, and was granted asylum the following year.
He was convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement with terror attacks in 1998, and of plotting to plant bombs during the Millennium celebrations.
The book has been issued by Qatada’s British followers, who operate under the name At-Tibyan Publications. It is being promoted on Al Qaeda-linked websites worldwide, with a message saying that the release is ‘in celebration of our beloved sheik’s upcoming reunion with his family’.
The release of the book, believed to have been written before Qatada was jailed, comes at a time when there is a high level of chatter among Al Qaeda supporters hinting at new 9/11-style atrocities.
Messages on websites run by suspected Al Qaeda operatives claim that spectacular attacks are imminent.
The Home Office has not yet abandoned hope of throwing Qatada out of the country and is appealing to the House of Lords. Once that process is exhausted his bail will lapse, and ministers will have to apply for a Control Order to limit his movements.
A VERY EXPENSIVE GUEST
* Since Qatada claimed asylum in 1993, he and his family have already cost the taxpayer well over £1million and the bill will now rise dramatically.
* Legal aid for his initial battle to remain came to about £20,000.
* Between 1993 and 2002, he and his expanding family are said to have received £1,000 a month in state handouts. Total £108,000.
* Since he was locked up six years ago, the Muslim cleric’s wife and five children have continued to receive an estimated £800 a month. Total £60,000.
* The cost of keeping him behind bars for the last six years is estimated at £300,000, while his marathon legal quest to avoid extradition to Jordan is thought to have cost another £500,000 since
* Out of prison, he will have to observe a 22-hour curfew, wear a tag, and live in a MI5 safehouse. At great expense to the taxpayer, he will also be under round-the-clock surveillance by police and the security services. Total cost of all this is estimated at between £300,000 and £500,000 per year.
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