Abu Qatada
Abû-Qatâda al-Filisṭînî sometimes called Abû-Omar (ابو عمر) is an Islamist
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 militant. Under the name Omar Mahmoud Othman (عمر محمود عثمان), he is under worldwide embargo by the United Nations Security Council Committee 1267
United Nations Security Council Committee 1267
The 1267 Committee , was established on 15 October 1999, pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1267 concerning Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and/or the Taliban and associated individuals and entities. The 1267 Committee is one of three Security Council committees dealing with counter-terrorism...

 for his affiliation with al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

. He is wanted on terrorism charges in Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and his native Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...



After the liberation of Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 from Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 (which Abu Qatada opposed) he was expelled from Kuwait to Jordan. From there he travelled to the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1993 on a forged UAE
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 passport, and requested asylum on grounds of religious persecution. He was granted asylum the following year. He has been in British custody since his most recent arrest, in August 2005, shortly after the July 2005 London bombings
7 July 2005 London bombings
The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

. A British court ruled on February 26, 2007 that he may be deported to Jordan. Qatada won the appeal against deportation in April 2008 under the British Human Rights Act 1998
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

 and European Convention on Human Rights
European Convention on Human Rights
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953...

 despite suspected continued terrorist involvement, but remained in prison. On 8 May 2008 he was granted bail by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission with security provided by former terrorist hostage Norman Kember
Norman Kember
Norman Frank Kember is an Emeritus Professor of biophysics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and a Christian pacifist active in campaigning on issues of war and peace. As a Baptist, a long-standing member of the Baptist Peace Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation...

 who Qatada had requested the release of before his rescue by the SAS
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 in 2006. In November 2008 Qatada was rearrested for breaking his bail conditions. His bail was revoked and he was sent back to prison pending his deportation from the United Kingdom.

Abu Qatada is a Jordanian national, having been born in Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

 in 1960, at which time the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 was part of Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

Al-Filistini means the Palestinian.

Activities, affiliations, and influence

Abu Qatada has been described by Jamal al-Fadl
Jamal al-Fadl
Jamal Ahmed Mohamed al-Fadl is a Sudanese militant and former associate of Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s. Al-Fadl was recruited for the Afghan war through the Farouq mosque in Brooklyn. In 1988, he joined al Qaeda and took an oath of fealty to Bin Laden...

, in his testimony in the Southern District Court of New York on February 6, 2001, as a member of al-Qaeda’s "Fatwa Committee". According to the indictment of the Madrid al-Qaeda cell, Abu Qatada was the spiritual leader of al-Qaeda in Europe, and the spiritual leader of the Armed Islamic Group
Armed Islamic Group
The Armed Islamic Group is an Islamist organisation that wants to overthrow the Algerian government and replace it with an Islamic state...

 (GIA), the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), and the Tunisian Combat Group
Tunisian Combat Group
The Tunisian Combat Group or Tunisian Fighting Group is or was a loose network of terrorists who aspire to install an Islamist government in Tunisia....


The Middle East Media Research Institute
Middle East Media Research Institute
The Middle East Media Research Institute is a Middle Eastern not for profit press monitoring organization with headquarters located in Washington, DC. MEMRI was co-founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon, a former colonel in the Israeli military intelligence and Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli-born, American...

 claimed that, in 1997, Abu Qatada called upon Muslims to kill the wives and children of Egyptian police and army officers.

Abu Qatada is reported by the British press to have been a preacher or advisor to al-Qaeda terrorists Zacarias Moussaoui
Zacarias Moussaoui
Zacarias Moussaoui is a French citizen who was convicted of conspiring to kill citizens of the US as part of the September 11 attacks...

 and Richard Reid.

When questioned in the UK in February 2001, Abu Qatada was in possession of £170,000 cash, including £805 in an envelope labelled "For the Mujahedin in Chechnya".

Nineteen audio cassettes of Abu Qatada's sermons were found in the apartment of Mohamed Atta
Mohamed Atta
Mohamed Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta was one of the masterminds and the ringleader of the September 11 attacks who served as the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, crashing the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the coordinated attacks.Born in 1968...

 when it was searched after the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, which Atta led.

Legal status

In early 2004, an immigration appeals committee, convened to decide whether Abu Qatada should be allowed at large at that time, ruled in part, "The appellant was heavily involved, indeed was at the centre in the United Kingdom of terrorist activities associated with al-Qaeda" and remarked also on "his passionate exposition of jihad and the spread of Islam to take over the world." But soon thereafter, the Law Lords struck down the basis on which he was being held, and he was again released.

Jordan sentenced Abu Qatada in absentia in 2000 to life imprisonment for his involvement in a plot to bomb tourists who would be in Jordan to attend the Millennium celebrations.

He was granted bail by an immigration tribunal on May 8 2008, it was reported that he was subjected to a 22-hour home curfew and other restrictions.

In November 2008 he was rearrested at his home after breaking his bail conditions. A Special Immigration Appeals Commission revoked his bail, stating he posed a significant risk of absconding and returned him to prison pending his possible deportation
In February 2009, Law lords ruled that Qatada could be deported to Jordan. In the same month, Qatada was awarded £2,500 by the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 in a lawsuit he filed against the UK, after judges ruled that his detention without trial in the UK breached his human rights.

Offer to help negotiate the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 journalist Alan Johnston
Alan Johnston
Alan Graham Johnston is a British journalist working for the BBC. He has been the BBC's correspondent in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and the Gaza Strip, and is currently the correspondent in Rome...

 was kidnapped in Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 by Muslim extremists on March 13, 2007.
Johnston's captors, the infamous Doghmush
The Doghmush are a Palestinian family from the Gaza Strip. They became known mostly due to calling themselves the Jaysh al-Islām , and being behind the kidnapping and holding of the British journalist Alan Johnston for four months in 2007...

 clan who headed the Army of Islam (Gaza Strip)
Army of Islam (Gaza Strip)
Army of Islam , also known as Tawhid and Jihad Brigades, is the name used by the Doghmush Hamula for their Islamic militant activities. It is located at the Tzabra neighborhood in the center of the Gaza Strip bordered by Israel and Egypt...

,a terrorist group, demanded the release of dozens of captives, including Abu Qatada. Abu Qatada offered to help negotiate Johnston's release.


  • Islamic Movements and Contemporary Alliances, argues essentially for no affiliation whatsoever between Muslim and non-Muslim countries.
  • al-Ansar magazine to which he contributed in the early 90s which was the official mouthpiece of the Armed Islamic Group
    Armed Islamic Group
    The Armed Islamic Group is an Islamist organisation that wants to overthrow the Algerian government and replace it with an Islamic state...


His writings and speeches have been critically assessed by a contemporary Muslim scholar Shaykh Abdul-Malik ar-Ramadani al-Jaza'iri in his bookTakhlis al-Ibaad min Wahshiyyat Abi'l-Qataad [Liberating the Servants from the Father of Thorns], Jeddah: Makatabah al-Asaalah al-Athariyyah, 1422 AH, The Savage Barbarism of Abu Qatada
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.