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Neighbours' shock as extremist cleric Abu Qatada moves in to Harrow borough home
One concerned neighbour shot this photograph of Mr Qatada smiling as he apparently returns from a shopping trip
Neighbours of terror suspect Abu Qatada say they are shocked the extremist Muslim cleric has moved into their neighbourhood.
The controversial Islamist preacher moved into a three-bedroom detached house in the borough of Harrow last week after complaining of media harassment at his former address in Wembley.
Neighbours noticed surveillance cameras being installed on three lampposts around the property, as well as cars watching the house, before the cleric moved in with his wife and four out of five of his children.
They say they were not told the 52-year-old, whom the Home Office is attempting to extradite back to Jordan, had moved in.
Veronica Adams, 61, said: “I’m just really shocked. I wasn’t told about it and I don’t think that anyone else was told about it.
“It’s not something you really expect on your doorstep. I don’t know really know what to think about it, I’m just really surprised.”
Mr Qatada remains in the country on strict bail conditions including a 16-hour curfew and is banned from using a mobile phone or the internet.
He must wear an electronic tag and is restricted to whom he can meet.
Another neighbour, who would not be named, said: “We’ve noticed cars parked up for the night and there has been a bit of activity for about ten days or so.
“As long as the police do their job then I feel safe and we don’t have anything to worry about, but it’s very surprising to find out. They should have informed people who live nearby.”
The Jordanian was moved from his previous home after reportedly claiming it was too small. It is thought thousands of pounds are being spent on surveillance of the alleged terrorist.
Mr Qatada moved into the property following his latest appeal against deportation for terror charges last month.
His appeal was upheld after lawyers claimed he would not get a fair trial in his native Jordan, where he is wanted on charges of terrorism.
Home Secretary Theresa May has said she will continue her attempts to deport Mr Qatada. The Ministry of Justice revealed the cleric has received more than £500,000 in legal aid.
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