The sayings and sermons of Abu Qatada al-Filistini

Abu Qatada

Abu Qatada is known as a dangerously radical preacher. So what has he actually been saying?

LAST UPDATED AT 16:43 ON Tue 7 Feb 2012

ABU QATADA has been called the "most significant extremist preacher in the UK", "al-Qaeda's spiritual leader in Europe" and "a truly dangerous individual". News of his upcoming release from jail this week - albeit on stringent bail conditions – has caused outrage, with even his defence team suggesting he poses a "grave risk" to national security.

Why is Abu Qatada being freed and can he ever be deported?

So what does this radical Muslim cleric actually preach? Here are some of the things he has said since 1993 when he came to Britain from Jordan on a forged passport, requesting asylum on the grounds of religious persecution:

1. A 1995 'fatwa' issued by Abu Qatada justified the killing of anyone in Algeria who converted from Islam, including their wives and children.

2. In 1997, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Abu Qatada called on Muslims to kill the wives and children of Egyptian police and army officers.

3. In October 1999, according to the British case against him, Abu Qatada made a speech in which, The Guardian reported, "he effectively issued a fatwa authorising the killing of Jews, including Jewish children".

4. In 1999 Abu Qatada told his congregation at Finsbury Park Mosque that Americans should be attacked, wherever they were; that in his view they were no better than Jews; and that there was no difference between English people, Jews and Americans.

5. In a 2001 sermon, shortly after 9/11, Abu Qatada said the al-Qaeda attacks on the US were part of a wider battle between Christendom and Islam, and were a response to America's unjust policies.

6. In autumn 2002, a poem attributed to Abu Qatada, appeared online praising Osama bin Laden and glorifying the attacks.

7. In another sermon he is said to have stated that it was not a sin for a Muslim to kill a non-believer for the sake of Islam.

Abu Qatada is wanted on terrorism charges in the United States, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Algeria and his native Jordan. His comments are often quoted on radical Islamic websites. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.