Islamic preacher returns to UK jail

The man once described as Osama Bin Laden’s right hand man has been returned to Belmarsh prison.

The special immigration appeals commission ordered radical Islamic preacher Abu Qatada back to jail this morning amid claims he planned to flee to the Middle East.

Qatada was originally bailed awaiting deportation to Jordan – where he has been convicted of terrorist offences – earlier this year on a strict 22-hour home curfew.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith said she was pleased at the court’s decision.

“He poses a significant threat to our national security and am I pleased that he will be detained pending his deportation, which I am working hard to secure,” she said.

The eight-page bail order, seen by, states Qatada was only allowed to leave his house between 10:00 BST and 11:00 BST, as well as 14:00 BST and 15:00 BST.

Only his wife, children or lawyers were able to enter his house, while he was strictly banned from contacting either Bin Laden or al-Qaida number two Ayman al-Zawahiri.

He was also banned from entering a mosque during his bail.

Qatada has been declared a “truly dangerous individual” and a “key figure” in al-Qaida-related terror activity.

Richard Reid, the failed ‘shoe-bomber’ and Zacarias Moussaoui, both of whom have been jailed for involvement in terrorism, are claimed to have sought religious advice from Qatada at some stage.

Former home secretary David Blunkett once described the cleric as the “most significant extremist preacher in the UK”.