Radical cleric Abu Hamza loses extradition fight to the US
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that radical Islamic preacher Abu Hamza can be extradited from Great Britain to the United States of America – a ruling seen as one of the most important since 9/11.
After legal battles dating back to 2004 and at costs of millions of pounds, Abu Hamza al-Masri lost his appeal to avoid being flown to the United States at the Strasbourg Human Rights Panel, along with another four other terrorism suspects. The court agreed that their human rights would not be violated by the prospect of life sentences and solitary confinement in the United States.
The ruling, which was signed by seven judges from different European nations, paved the way for the radical Muslim cleric to be extradited to the United States. Now, after this ruling, there is no other legal avenue open for three of the five suspects.
Britain’s Home Office said the extradition would happen “as quickly as possible”. The US Justice Department applauded the ruling.
“We are pleased that the litigation before the European Court of Human Rights in these cases has come to an end, and we will be working with the UK authorities on the arrangements to bring these subjects to the United States for prosecution”, Spokesman of US Justice Department Dean Boyd said.
The Egyptian-born Hamza, also known as Mustafa Kamal Mustafa Hamza, is accused by Britain’s Home Office of trying to set up an Al Qaeda training camp in rural Oregon. Hamza faces 11 charges in US courts, including conspiracy in connection with a 1998 kidnapping of 16 Westerners in Yemen and advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001.
One of the other four suspects included in the ruling is Babar Ahmad, who is a computer expert. Babar was first detained in 2004 and is one of the longest-held suspects in detention in Britain without facing trial.
Babar has been accused of raising funds for terrorism, while Syed Talha Ahsan and Babar were accused of being involved in a website that encouraged terrorism. Ahsan, and Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz are accused of being key aides to Osama bin Laden in London.
The family of Babar Ahmad called for him to be prosecuted in Britain. Public interest in Babar being prosecuted in the UK was reflected by an e-petition signed to this effect by 150,000 members of the British public last year.