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Britain to deport suspected terrorist Abu Qatada

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Britain's highest court decided Wednesday to order the deportation of Osama bin Laden's "spiritual ambassador to Europe."

Despite claims that he could face torture, Abu Qatada will be sent to Jordan, where he is wanted on terrorism charges. This decision removes a key defense long used by suspected terrorists being held in Britain.

British officials "have described Qatada as an 'inspiration' for terrorists such as Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker behind [9/11]," reports CNN.

Welcoming the judgment, UK interior minister Jacqui Smith said: "I'm delighted with the Lords' decision today in the cases of Abu Qatada and the two Algerians 'RB and U'. It highlights the threat these individuals pose to our nation's security and vindicates our efforts to remove them.
"My top priority is to protect public safety and ensure national security and I have signed Abu Qatada's deportation order which will be served on him today. I am keen to deport this dangerous individual as soon as I can." ....
But human rights group Amnesty International said it was "gravely concerned" by the consequences of the decision.
"What is not acceptable is to use suspicion of involvement in terrorism to justify sending someone to face a real risk of torture or other serious violations of their rights," said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International, in a statement.
"If these individuals in question are reasonably suspected of having committed a criminal offence relating to terrorism, it is always open to the UK authorities to charge them and give them a fair trial.
"It would be deeply worrying if the Law Lords' decision were to be taken by the UK government as a green light to push ahead with deporting people to countries where they will be at risk of abuses such as torture and unfair trials."

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