London, July 3 : The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) of the UK has reportedly freed a terror suspect, 45-year-old Algerian, said to be having "direct links" with Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. He spent more than seven years in jail awaiting deportation.
The US had sought to extradite him (to the US), but its application was withdrawn after the main witness against him, terror supergrass Ahmed Ressam, refused to testify.
The terror suspect who can be identified only by the initial "U" was released from Long Lartin high-security prison in Worcestershire, confirmed a SIAC spokeswoman saying: "As of today I can confirm he has been released."
SIAC concluded last year that there were "credible grounds" for believing the government's claims that U had "direct links to Osama bin Laden" and held a "senior position" at a mujahedin training camp in Afghanistan.
According to Siac, the terror group formed and led by U had links with al Qaeda and was known by one of the names the suspect used in Afghanistan.
U's bail came just two weeks after firebrand preacher Abu Qatada was freed on bail by SIAC.
The development followed a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal, which overturned Siac's earlier ruling that U could be deported to Algeria, reported The Mirror.
The UK Government has claimed in court that U was a leading organiser of a major terror group. His followers plotted to bomb the Christmas market in Strasbourg in 2000 and were also involved in an earlier plan to attack Los Angeles airport.
Meanwhile, the SIAC banned publication of the exact details of his release and even the town where he will now live. Another court order prohibits the public from seeing any photographs of U or anyone at his address.
U had been in custody since February 2001, when he was stopped at Heathrow trying to board a flight to Saudi Arabia on a false passport.