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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 August 2007, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Cleric 'not preaching' to inmates
Abu Qatada
Qatada is wanted in Jordan where he was convicted for terror attacks
The lawyer for a Muslim preacher fighting extradition from the UK has denied her client has been preaching hate to fellow inmates.

Abu Qatada, who once preached at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, is being held at a specialist unit at Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire.

A prison union has said he could be radicalising other inmates via prayers.

Qatada's lawyer Gareth Peirce said that Qatada, also known as Omar Othman, did not preach to other inmates.

Steve Gough, vice-chairman of the Prison Officers Association, has warned that Qatada could be using prayer meetings for indoctrinating the next generation of terrorists, as guards were unable to decipher what he was saying.

Future terrorists

He said Qatada, who was once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, was held in a separate unit containing only seven people.

Six of the detainees have cases before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and one is awaiting extradition to the US.

"They do not observe Friday prayers with any other prisoners, but only as a small group together," Gareth Peirce said.

"The prayers are led by an imam, not by Mr Othman. He does not preach to other detainees."

Qatadal, a Jordanian nationa,l is fighting extradition to his home country where he has been convicted for terror attacks.

The Prison Officers Association warns over radicalisation

Profile: Abu Qatada
26 Feb 07 |  UK

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