Sheikh Ra'ad Salah
Sheikh Ra'ad Salah Israel news photo: Flash 90

Embarrassed British police belatedly arrested Muslim radical preacher Ra'ad Salah in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday after he entered the country freely and nearly spoke in parliament, according to Al Jazeera. British newspaper have not confirmed the arrest.

Salah is banned from the country, but airport police allowed him to enter.

Labor Members of Parliament had invited him to speak at the legislature despite the ban, which did not prevent him from passing through immigration inspection at Heathrow Airport. Al Jazeera reported that an Arab journalist said, "Pro-Israeli elements and Zionist institutions managed to get a restraining order against Salah” and that he was arrested in the middle of the night as deportation orders were prepared.

He was reportedly arrested only after British newspapers published his appearance. The Daily Mail wrote, “The joke of 'secure Britain': Vile banned militant extremist strolls through Heathrow immigration as 200 Somalian criminals are allowed to stay due to human rights.

A blog in the Daily Telegraph was headlined, “They'll let anyone in: anti-Semitic preacher Ra'ad Salah is in London despite being banned.”

Salah previously has been arrested and jailed several times in Israel for incitement and assaulting police officers.

Michael Weiss wrote in the Telegraph, “Last week, the Home Office issued an exclusion order against Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, an Israeli-Arab Islamist who heads the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, a Hamas-like gang of nutters whose house organ, Sawat al-Hak, Salah has used to describe Jews as ‘monkeys’ and ‘germs’ and ’butchers of pregnant women….’

“But somehow Salah landed happily at Heathrow at the weekend and looks all set to continue his speaking tour throughout London despite being persona non grata. Last night he had a do at Conway Hall. Tomorrow, he was scheduled to have appeared in the House of Commons.

“And what did David Cameron mean when he said this in Munich: Whether they are violent in their means or not, we must make it impossible for the extremists to succeed. Now, for governments, there are some obvious ways we can do this. We must ban preachers of hate from coming to our countries.”

The Daily Mail called Salah’s entry a “joke” and reported, “The cleric, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, also addressed an audience at Conway Hall, in London, on Monday evening.

“Police were said to be trying to hunt him down, but he was not arrested at the event though the power is available to officers if his presence in Britain is considered not to be 'conducive to the public good.’

“But last night his spokesman described how he strolled through border checks which were supposed to identify that he was on a list of banned fanatics.

“Lubna Masarwa said, 'This is not the first time the sheik has come to the UK. He came on a scheduled flight from Tel Aviv to Heathrow on Saturday June 25. He presented his passport. He was asked only a couple of questions about the purpose of his visit.'

“While the Ra'ad Salah shambles is a bitter blow to the UK Border Agency, it is also a huge embarrassment for the Labor Party, three of whose MPs were planning to share a platform with the fanatic.

“Labor leader Ed Miliband will have difficulty giving the Government a hard time over letting in a banned cleric welcomed by his MPs. Anyone seriously interested in his opinions on peace in the Middle East is either ignorant of who Salah is or, worse, condones his anti-Semitism.’”