U.K. terror deportations could be derailed

April 21, 2012 at 2:20 PM

LONDON, April 21 (UPI) -- British officials say a ruling by the European Court of Human rights could snarl the deportation of as many as 15 terrorism suspects.

London may not meet the deadline to compile evidence demanded by the court in the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada and officials warn if they wind up losing the Qatada case it could derail plans to boot 15 other individuals out of the country.

"After this week's events, I'm worried if these other cases have been properly handled," said Keith Vaz, chairman of Parliament's Commons Homeland Affairs Committee.

The human rights court in January blocked Britain from shipping Qatada off to Jordan until British officials provided proof that the evidence against Qatada had not been obtained through torture. The Sun said Saturday that confusion over the deadline for appeals opened the door for Qatada to make an 11th-hour bid to remain in Britain.

Qatada's standing among terrorist organizations appears to be high enough that the al-Shabaab organization in Somalia posted an Internet warning Friday vowing a "disaster" for Britain should Qatar be sent to Jordan.

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