UK al-Qaida suspect boycotts hearing

A Muslim cleric named by Britain as the inspiration for the lead 11 September hijacker has boycotted the first day of his appeal against his detention without trial.

    Government lawyers accuse cleric of financing 'terrorists'

    Abu Qutada, Britain’s highest profile “terror” suspect, did not appear before a tribunal on Wednesday. He has been accused of funding and inspiring alleged fighters worldwide from a base in London.

    He was arrested in October 2002 after disappearing in the weeks after the 11 September, 2001 attacks.

    “(Abu Qutada) is a spiritual adviser to terrorist groups and Islamic extremists in the UK and overseas,” said government lawyer Wyn Williams.

    In papers issued at the hearing, the government said Abu Qutada was directly linked to top al-Qaida figures and alleged he inspired attacks in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Chechnya.

    Rights groups critical

    It said videos of the cleric’s sermons were found in the Hamburg flat of Muhammad Atta, who US officials accuse of leading the al-Qaida cell which flew the first plane into the World Trade Centre.

    Abu Qutada’s lawyers said he had no faith in the appeals process. His case is being heard by a “special immigration appeals commission” run by the government, not the court.

    Under anti-terror laws, authorities do not have to present evidence he committed a crime, but are required to show “reasonable grounds to suspect” he has links to “terrorism”.

    Human rights groups have condemned the process and called for the government to present its evidence in open court.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.