Suspected al-Qa'eda leader in UK to be freed on bail

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London, June 28 : After secret negotiations, an al Qaeda prisoner, identified only as U, is expected to be released on bail from the high-security wing at Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire.

According to The Telegraph, U, a 45-year-old Algerian, is alleged to be a terrorist leader who recruited, trained and facilitated operations.

Among his group, were men convicted in the U.S. of a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport in December 1999 and, in Germany, of a plot to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market.

Appeal Court judges ruled in April that U should be freed on bail, but discussions between security agencies and U's lawyers became deadlocked over the conditions restricting his movements and whom he can meet upon his release.

It is thought the authorities wanted more stringent bail terms that those imposed on the radical cleric Abu Qatada, who has been subject to a 22-hour curfew since his release last week. These terms would see U effectively placed under house arrest.

He would also be required to wear an electronic tag, monitored round the clock, and banned from using the Internet or a mobile phone.

Once the agreement on the bail terms is reached, a judge will be able to release the man with no further court hearing.

The Home Office refused to comment on the situation, beyond saying it was "seeking the strictest bail conditions possible."

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