Daily Israel Report

Bin Laden's Muslim Cleric Unwelcome Neighbor to London Jews

Osama Bin Laden’s former spiritual adviser has become an unwelcome neighbor among Orthodox Jews in a London neighborhood.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 2/11/2013, 9:59 PM

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada
Reuters

Osama Bin Laden’s former spiritual adviser and preacher of hate has become an unwelcome neighbor among Orthodox Jews in a London neighborhood as secular protests against his presence make life difficult on the Sabbath.

Jordanian terrorist suspect Abu Qatada, born Omar Mahmoud Othman,is a radical Islamic cleric who has also been called 'the spiritual guide to Al Qaeda.' He lives about half a mile from a United Synagogue congregation, according to a report by The Jewish Chronicle.

A gag order has prevented the Jewish publication from revealing the exact location of the terror suspect’s home, and the precise identity of the synagogue.

However, the newspaper noted that the man once known as “Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe,” recently relocated with the approval of the British Home Office to a street that is home to a number of Jewish families. 

The move came following numerous protests outside the terror suspect’s previous residence in northwest London.

The Muslim cleric was released on bail last November to house arrest with a 16-hour curfew, an electronic tag around his ankle, a ban on using the Internet, and a restriction against contacting a list of specific individuals.  He recently won the latest round in a long-running battle against deportation back to Jordan, although the government has said it will appeal the decision.

Abu Qatada is under worldwide embargo by the United Nations Security Council Committee for his alleged affiliation with Al Qaeda, and has been repeatedly imprisoned in Britain since he was first detained under anti-terrorism laws in 2002, though he has not been prosecuted for any criminal or conspiracy offenses.

Over the past ten years, Abu Qatada has won each appeal against deportation, claiming he will be tortured in Jordan, were he to stand trial on terror charges there.

Married with four children, the 52-year-old cleric lives in a 3-bedroom home in the Harrow area of London, according to The Daily Mail.  Several media reports noted the government lied to the family that owned the house into which Abu Qatada’s family was moved. The real estate agent who closed the deal told the owners the prospective tenant was an American company that wished to rent a place for its employees.

An unnamed minister was quoted by The Daily Mail as saying Abu Qatada has received more than half a million British pounds Sterling in legal aid “to help in his fight against extradition from the UK.”