Islamist cleric Abu Qatada says Jordan releases son

AFP , Wednesday 23 Dec 2015

Firebrand Islamist preacher Abu Qatada, who was deported from Britain to Jordan in 2013, said Wednesday that his 23-year-old son had been released after almost three weeks in detention.

"My son Qatada was released in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday," he told AFP.

According to the Jordanian cleric, his son was arrested on December 2 by Jordan's state security, although the reason is not known.

Jordanian authorities refused to comment.

Palestinian-born Abu Qatada -- once described as the right-hand man in Europe of late Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden -- was deported from Britain in July 2013 after a 10-year legal fight.

Last year, he was found not guilty by an Amman court of conspiring to attack tourists in Jordan during millennium celebrations, due to insufficient evidence.

Born Omar Mahmud Mohammed Othman in Bethlehem in 1960, the burly father of five was one of the most prominent of a set of extremist preachers based in London in the 1990s and 2000s.

Videotapes of his sermons were allegedly found in the Hamburg flat of Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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