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David Cameron 'Fed Up' That Abu Qatada Still In UK

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David Cameron is "fed up" that Abu Qatada is still in the country, as the smiling terror suspect returned home following his release from jail.

Qatada was greeted by a crowd of protesters as he arrived home in London on Tuesday following his release from high security prison HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire.

abu qatada

Abu Qatada returned to his home in London after being released from prison

The radical cleric appeared to smile as he was driven away from jail, and again when he arrived home, after winning the latest round in his battle against deportation, the Press Association reported.

On a visit to Italy, prime minister David Cameron said: "I am completely fed up with the fact that this man is still at large in our country.

"He has no right to be there, we believe he is a threat to our country.

"We have moved heaven and earth to try to comply with every single dot and comma of every single convention to get him out of our country.

"It is extremely frustrating and I share the British people's frustration with the situation we find ourselves in."

His comments were echoed by a group of protesters who gathered outside Qatada's house, holding a "Get rid of Abu Qatada" banner and shouting "Get him out!"

Jackie Chaunt, 50, who works in the area, said: "He shouldn't be here. He was supposed to be deported to Jordan. It's a disgrace."

Aaron Baker, 30, who lives nearby, added: "We're all paying for this as taxpayers. It's ridiculous."

Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, was released after judges on Monday approved his appeal against deportation to Jordan to stand trial.

His bail conditions include a 16-hour curfew, from 4pm to 8am, as well as wearing an electronic tag, not using the internet, and not contacting certain people.

On Monday, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) ruled that despite assurances from the Arab kingdom, it could not be sure that evidence from witnesses who had been tortured would not be included in a retrial in his homeland.

david cameron italy

The prime minister expressed his frustration about Abu Qatada during a visit to Italy

Qatada was convicted of terror charges in Jordan in his absence in 1999.

Home secretary Theresa May, who travelled to Jordan earlier this year in a bid to pave the way for Qatada's deportation, has vowed that the government will continue to fight to "get rid" of him and said the Home Office will appeal against Siac's decision.

"The government has been doing everything it can to get rid of Abu Qatada and we will continue to do so," she said.

Jordan's King Abdullah II is due to visit London next week, when it is expected that discussions on Qatada will take place.

It is not clear whether talks will involve the prime minister or other ministers.

Mr Cameron's official spokesman said: "I am sure there will be further discussions with the Jordanian government about the Abu Qatada case."

The spokesman did not point to any particular action which Jordan could take to clear the path for Qatada's extradition, but said: "They have demonstrated that they are very happy to help us."

He added: "We are going to pursue all possible avenues to try to get Abu Qatada out of the country, but we have made very clear we intend to appeal the judgment because we think it is wrong."

Qatada, who is said to have wide and high-level support among extremists, featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of one of the September 11 bombers.

He has battled deportation for over a decade and has so far thwarted every attempt by the government to deport him.

Jordanian government minister Nayef al-Fayez today told the BBC they were also disappointed, but respected the decision and would be working with the British Government to see what the next steps should be.

Meanwhile shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called for ministers to travel to Jordan straight away for discussions.

She said: "I think people will be really concerned that instead of seeing Abu Qatada on a plane to Jordan we've actually got him out on bail and on Britain's streets instead."

She said Qatada was currently subject to bail conditions but added: "If the Government's appeal fails at the next stage then we'll be reliant on counter-terror powers to make sure that the public are protected.

"Those counter-terror powers have been weakened by Theresa May.

"I think she needs to look again at that very urgently so we can be sure people will be protected from somebody who the courts themselves have said is a very dangerous man."

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