Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 20:59 UK

Al-Qaeda suspect being deported

Abbas Boutrab
Abbas Boutrab was convicted in 2005

The first man with suspected links to al-Qaeda to be convicted of terrorist charges in Northern Ireland is being deported back to Algeria.

Officials of the Border and Immigration Agency collected Abbas Boutrab from Maghaberry Prison on Tuesday afternoon.

The Algerian, who has served his sentence, is due to be flown from Heathrow within the next 24 hours.

He was convicted in November 2005 of downloading information on how to blow up a passenger jet.

A judge at Belfast Crown Court said he was satisfied that his possession of the material was "not out of curiosity but was for terrorist purposes".

He was originally arrested in Newtownabbey on the outskirts of north Belfast over suspected immigration offences.

Police later found computer discs with downloaded bomb-making instructions.

They also found a false Italian passport - they do not believe Abbas Boutrab is his real name.

His trial was told that police believed he had previously lived and operated across Europe.

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