Man 'linked to Bin Laden' bailed

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An Algerian terrorist suspect said to be directly linked to Osama Bin Laden has been released from a high-security prison on bail by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac). The decision follows a judgment in the Court of Appeal which overturned a ruling by Siac that he could be deported.

The 45-year-old, known only as U, has been in jail since February 2001, when he was stopped at Heathrow airport trying to fly to Saudi Arabia on a false passport.

His release comes two weeks after the radical preacher Abu Qatada, described as Bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, was freed on bail.

U arrived in England in 1994 and claimed asylum. He went to Afghanistan in 1996 and was alleged to have held a senior post at a mujahedin training camp. He returned to the UK in 1999 and was linked to plots to bomb Los Angeles International airport and Strasbourg's Christmas market.

In May last year, Siac ruled he could be deported and said he "remained a risk to national security".

But following the Appeal Court ruling, U's legal team argued he could no longer be held in custody. He was released from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire, after a blunder in which officials accidentally sent his bail address to journalists. A court order banning the publication of his name or address remains in force.