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Abu Qatada Bail: Release Of 'Osama Bin Laden's Right Hand Man' Labelled A 'Disgrace'

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The release of a radical Muslim cleric described as a
The release of a radical Muslim cleric described as a "extraordinarily dangerous" to the UK on bail has been described as a "disgrace."

The government will answer an urgent question on the release Abu Qatada in the Commons on Tuesday afternoon, after the decision to grant the the radical Muslim cleric bail for two hours a day was described as a "disgrace".

Labour has secured a debate on Qatada's release, which will be led by the home secretary Theresa May. The debate will begin in the Commons at 3:30pm.

Abu Qatada, who was once described as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" will be on bail from next week and allowed to take his child to school, after being imprisoned for six and a half years while he fought deportation to Jordan.

The Home Office said they were considering their "legal options" in response to the ruling, and would argue for the "strictest possible" bail conditions.

Meanwhile, Downing Street said the case was not discussed at this morning's Cabinet meeting.

A spokeswoman said: "The Home Secretary is considering the judgment that was made yesterday. We are absolutely committed to protecting national security and we are taking all necessary measures to do so.

"We are in no doubt that this is a dangerous man and a man who poses a real threat to our security.

"He has not changed his views or attitudes to this country.

"We have argued for the strongest bail conditions. Our view is this is not the end of the road. We are considering the judgment and looking at what the options are."

Earlier on Tuesday morning, attorney general Dominic Grieve said the government was "very concerned" about the case and wanted to see the cleric back in Jordan.

"The government is obviously very concerned about this case, very much wishes to see Abu Qatada deported to Jordan, and when he’s in Jordan, tried fairly if the Jordanian authorities wish to put him on trial," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The bail application for Qatada was granted after Europe's highest court ruled he could not be deported to Jordan from the UK because of the risk he would be tortured.

Former Counter-terrorism Minister Hazel Blears said on Tuesday morning Qatada's release was “a matter of extreme concern", while former Home Secretary David Blunkett said he was "extraordinarily dangerous".

Think tank the Henry Jackson Society labelled the decision a "disgrace" and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called on Theresa May to "explain urgently what action she is taking on the national security implications of this judgment".

Qatada will be bailed next week on a 22 hour curfew when he is released from high security jail Long Lartin jail next week.

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