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Al Qaeda

Mon, August 10, 2015 Yemeni Imam Allowed to Stay in UK Despite Terror Connections

After years of trying, the UK finally deported radical cleric Abu Qatada in 2013. (Photo: © UK Home Office / flickr)

After years of trying, the UK finally deported radical cleric Abu Qatada in 2013. (Photo: © UK Home Office / flickr)

A Yemeni born imam has been denied British citizenship because of his extremist views and connection to the late leader of Al-Qaeda Osama bin Laden.

Yet the government is not allowed to deport him on the grounds that he may be tortured if he were he deported to his native Yemen.

The imam is known only as FM, since his name cannot be disclosed for legal reasons. He preaches at a large mosque in the north of England. His lawyers have been fighting to obtain citizenship for over a decade. The Special Immigration Appeals Court (SIAC) concluded that his connections to terrorism were sufficiently clear to deny FM a British passport.

Home Secretary Theresa May said she had seen evidence of his having “preached extremist Muslim and anti-Western views” since his arrival in the UK in 1995.

The SIAC wrote in the judgement: “He has openly claimed a historic association with Osama Bin Laden and/or sympathy with him. The Secretary of State was therefore not satisfied, that on the balance of probabilities, FM was a good character.”

The Telegraph reported a study showing that “28 foreign-born convicted terrorists and suspects have used the Human Rights Act to prevent their expulsion from the UK because they come from countries such as Yemen, Algeria and Egypt where they would face torture or mistreatment on their return.”

The UK has been stepping up its fight against Islamist extremism since Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a new and comprehensive strategy in a landmark speech last month. Tackling non-violent extremism and hate preachers is to be a key part of the policy.

Meanwhile UK counter-terrorist forces have revealed there is an Islamic State plot to kill the Queen at the Victory in Japan (VJ Day) celebrations, commemorating the end of World War II. 

Police have reassured the public that security is extremely rigorous and to attend the celebrations unafraid. 

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