Coffee House

Abu Qatada walks free at our expense

13 November 2012

12:14 PM

13 November 2012

12:14 PM

Just last month I wrote about the inverted priorities of our judiciary and police who busy themselves with the arrest of individuals for things posted on social networking sites.

Earlier today police bailed a 19 year old man after he was arrested for posting a video of a burning poppy on Facebook. The video was allegedly accompanied by a statement which read: ‘How about that you squadey c****.’ The sentiment is undoubtedly crass and offensive, but I suspect few would support his prosecution for offences under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.


In itself this is a remarkable indication of just how inverted the police’s priorities have become. Yet, he is not the only suspect to be bailed today. Abu Qatada will also walk free this afternoon despite frantic attempts by the Home Office to deport him to Jordan where he is wanted in connection with terrorism charges.

What has saved Qatada from the same tabloid notoriety gained by his Islamist counterparts is that he doesn’t speak English. Thus, whilst Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri were making incendiary statements easily digested by the press, Qatada has enjoyed a lower profile primarily because he couldn’t communicate his message in English.

None of this should detract from the potency of his threat. Qatada’s jihadist credentials are impeccable. During the 1990s, many Islamists linked to Osama bin Laden established a sophisticated network for him in London. At one stage bin Laden even used a PO Box registered to an address in Holborn as his return mailing address.

Qatada was part of that loose milieu of Arab Islamists who based themselves in London during that time. The extent of his association was captured by a Spanish judge who, when investigating the Madrid bombings which claimed 191 lives, described Qatada as ‘Osama bin Laden’s ambassador to Europe.’ Indeed, militant groups from Gaza to Mali have threatened reprisal attacks against Britain if he is mistreated. How curious then, that to be arrested and charged in this country one need only post distasteful comments on social networking sites while those with established links to international terrorists are able to enjoy liberty at our expense.

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Show comments
  • GoAhead

    The authors lack of legal knowledge is apparent from the omission to discuss the sound legal principles on which Qatada was bailed.

  • Cassandra1963

    As successive regimes have outsourced responsibility for national affairs to trans national bodies we see the consequences appearing, what is our government for if it cannot perform the basic function of safeguarding our national interests and protecting the British people? These foreigners now holding such executive power over us do not take the interests of the British people into account. Oh no, they operate on a far higher level where moral perfection overrides practical necessity. How did it come to this? That the rights of a criminal terrorist is more important than securing the national interest by deporting this truly obcsene person and his family, that millionaire lawyers can enrich themselves over years at the taxpayers expense enabling such a dangerous creature to remain among us. This isnt progress its an abomination and a gross perversion and an insult to all normal decent people.

    We see a foreign and alien legal system invading the UK, one which has no roots in our culture and no interest in our practical security, a perverted system of justice which looks to utopianist perfection in the face of overwhelming evil, a system set up to protect the rights of terrorists and criminals over their victims. Welcome to the brave new world of emotionalism combined with utopianism, its a grotesque perversion and a tragedy forced on an unwilling public. A terrorist will not thank the government for providing him with such assistance dressed up as a legal framework, he will take advantage of it and then punish those he can get at which usually means innocent British people. The government no longer looks after the interests of the British people and the British nation, its time they were removed, all of them have become the enemies of the British people.

  • john woods

    we are just gonna have to burn down every mosque in Europe, and that is all there is to it.

  • Fed Up

    Get him out now by any means possible, it is a farce that we should have someone like this living here at the taxpayers expense, Wish I was a spook, would be sorted

  • barbie

    France had terrorists and they just put them on a plane and sent them from whence they’d come, even though the Court of Human Rights said they could remain, why are we so fickle. Put him on a plane tonight and argue after. France wasn’t fined, or made to look silly, why is we have to play by the book? Is it we lack moral fibre anymore? If I was Home Secretary he would have been long gone by now and the whole House of Parliament would rejoiced with the rest of this nation for the right decision. Who cares what the world thinks, they are laughing their socks off and our ‘must to right brigade’, its time to forget that and make our own decisions. When he does go send his remaining family with him for company, why should we keep them, we’ve kept them long enough.

  • Brit

    Put him on an aircraft with his family and defence team and employ a kamikaze pilot

  • 2trueblue

    Extraordinary that we supply all the translators for these people and offer them such largesse to use/abuse our system. This does not happen in the rest of Europe.
    I think he should be put on a plane to Jordon, and fight his case there himself. On that point alone if you want to live here speak the language should be something that we do a bit more than ‘encourage’ people.

    • telemachus

      Not sure why the spooks do not get a grip of this

      • MikeBrighton

        It’s the liberal left that need to get a grip. This is the natural consequence of the laws passed by New Labour in office

      • Daveyyy12

        Another Labour success story. You must be so proud, chin up, chest out.

        Just rename the Red flag to Black flag,

    • EJ

      Qatada is the tip of the iceberg. The fact is that we’ve imported thousands of Islamic extremists and hundreds of thousands of sympathisers, creating virtual no-go-area ghettos like Tower Hamlets that are steadily extending across all our major cities.

      We were never asked if we wanted this, we were castigated and villified if we said anything against it, and those whose job it is to protect us have been rendered absolutely powerless to do so.

      If you have ever had to sit impotently in grid-locked traffic while thousands spill out of a mosque and amble down the middle of the road glaring their challenge at you, you will know that this cannot possibly end well.

      • 2trueblue

        Welcome to Blairs world, the modern man. He told us he grew up with colour television and the Beatles. Then he got elected 3 times! Just what were people thinking?

  • Colonel Mustard

    The problem is that the law is very badly drafted and includes subjective tests such as causing “distress” or “anxiety” which are difficult to verify and measure. If you say you are distressed or anxious then you are and the police have to act accordingly. Tweets are communications where everyone who sees them is a “recipient” so what was originally intended to deal with nuisance telephone calls or harassing emails sent to individuals now applies more widely to public statements made on the internet.

    I’m not even sure how much time the police spend these days in assessing the “evidence” before arresting the alleged offender. It seems not much and often more like:- “complaint received, computer say arrest”. Obviously if they don’t take action they are liable to be complained against themselves for not doing anything so their procedures are risk averse. And I’m not sure how much of this police reaction is being politically directed to send the government’s own message of zero tolerance for anything it doesn’t like.

    Little doubt, however, that the “burning poppy communication” was intended to be grossly offensive and the relatives of servicemen killed in the service of this country could be distressed by it. I think that is a little different from the freedom of expression to criticise or boycott Remembrance ceremonies or to condemn military operations in Afghanistan. This is not new though. Consider the activities of anti-war protestors in the USA during the Vietnam War.