Jailed Muslim cleric issues fatwas


LONDON (JTA) — A Muslim cleric jailed in Britain is continuing to issue fatwas and anti-Semitic statements, a moderate Muslim organization says.

The Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism organization, had accused Abu-Qatada, who is described in Britain as the ambassador of al-Qaeda in Europe, of continuing to send his followers hate messages, including incitements to violence and anti-Semitic statements.

The British Home Office promised to investigate any breaches of security. A spokesman indicated that Abu-Qatada has no access to the Internet and that all his phone calls are monitored and translated. He added that prison authorities will check the possibility that Abu-Qatada is using people who come to visit him to transfer his messages.

The Quilliam Foundation described Abu-Qatada as “one of the most influential Jihadi theologians.” According to its research, three of his major statements have circulated globally on English and Arabic-language jihadist Web sites, the most recent being last month. 

According to a spokesman for the foundation, one of the statements released in January, during Operation Cast Lead, read: "I congratulate the mujahideen and the people of Gaza, and may Allah have mercy on the martyrs and make us follow them, and may Allah curse the Jews and the rulers of apostasy and the crusaders — amen, amen."

The cleric, who is a Jordanian national, is fighting extradition to Jordan where in 2000 he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his role in a plot to bomb tourists in the country for the millennium celebrations. 

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