Liberal woolymindedness reaches even more impressive depths of absurdity in Britain than in the US, as we see when prominent Al Qaeda terrorists cannot be extradited to any of a variety of countries anxious to try and punish him, and an impotent justice system can do no better than house arrest.
So scrupulous in protecting the interests of terrorist is British justice that newspapers like The Guardian are forbidden even to name the beneficiary of this systematic insanity.
The hiding place of a leading terror suspect was inadvertently released by Justice Ministry officials last night after he was freed from jail under unprecedented bail conditions. The man, who can be identified only as U, was released from Long Lartin, Worcestershire, after the appeal court ruled there was no reason to hold him indefinitely as he could not be deported to his native Algeria.
The media has been prohibited from publishing his address, or even identifying the town where he is to reside. When the Ministry of Justice supplied journalists with copies of his bail conditions, however, the document included his exact address in the south-east of England. …
U settled in Britain in 1994 and moved to Afghanistan two years later, where he is said to have forged links with Osama bin Laden. He is accused of presiding over a pre-9/11 al-Qaida network of north African terrorists who trained in Afghanistan in the mid-90s, and has links with men convicted of offences in this country and abroad. Ahmed Ressam, convicted of a plot to blow up Los Angeles International airport on New Year’s Eve 1999, was carrying U’s telephone number when he was arrested with 60kg (130lb) of explosives on the Canadian-US border.
Attempts to extradite U to the US collapsed when Ressam refused to give evidence against him. Prosecutors in France and Germany said telephone intercept evidence indicated U was the driving force behind a plot to bomb a Christmas market in Strasbourg the following year.
Among those who became a regular visitor to the Four Feathers and to the Finsbury Park mosque in north London was Abu “The Doctor” Doha, who has since been identified as al-Qa’ida’s main recruiter in Europe. Mr Doha, now 37, was a senior figure in an Algerian terror group called the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC).
According to the head of the French internal security service, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST), Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, Mr Doha’s arrest at Heathrow airport in February 2001 as he tried to board a flight to Saudi Arabia came “a little too late”. Mr Doha, he said, was the “principal catalyst” in establishing a network of Islamic terrorists in London.
Before the Algerian was arrested, he organised travel for recruits to al-Qa’ida’s camps in Chechnya and Afghanistan where training included the production of chemical weapons, such as ricin. The recruits have since formed Europe-based cells, financed by fraud and adept at creating false travel documents.
London disciples of Mr Qatada and Mr Doha included Djamel Beghal, a French- Algerian since arrested for masterminding a plot to blow up the US Embassy in Paris, and Zacarias Moussaoui, a French-Moroccan held in America as the “20th hijacker”, suspected of planning to take part in the 11 September attacks.