News / Europe

    Abu Hamza Extradition From Britain to Go Ahead

    Police officers scuffle with demonstrators during a protest in support of Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, during his appeal against extradition to the U.S., outside the High Court in London, October 5, 2012.
    Police officers scuffle with demonstrators during a protest in support of Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, during his appeal against extradition to the U.S., outside the High Court in London, October 5, 2012.
    Selah Hennessy
    Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.
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    Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.
    Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.
    Five men, including Islamist cleric Abu Hamza, are to be extradited from Britain to face terror charges in the United States.  On Friday the High Court in London rejected the men’s last-minute appeal to block their removal.

    Friday’s decision brings a drawn-out eight-year legal battle to an end.

    The most high-profile of the five is Abu Hamza, an Egyptian-born former imam, who uses a distinctive hook in place of his right hand. He is wanted in the United States on a number of charges, including attempting to set up a training camp for militants in the northwest state of Oregon and helped al-Qaida seize hostages in Yemen.

    His lawyer had argued that Hamza needed a brain scan before extradition should go ahead.

    Two of the men, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary are accused of playing a role in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in east Africa.

    Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan are wanted on charges of running a website that encouraged terrorism. The website was run out of London but hosted in the U.S.

    Ahmad’s father Ashfaq spoke outside the courthouse Friday. He said he felt let down by one of the world’s oldest democracies.

    "All the evidence against him was available in this country here so I can't understand why at he should have been sent there. He should have been tried here and that is my main message," he said.

    Britain’s Home Office welcomed the court’s decision and said it’s working to extradite the men as soon as possible.

    The U.S. Embassy in London said it was “pleased” with the decision.

    Roger Smith, director of Justice, a British human rights organization, says the extraditions have created some controversy in Britain, in part because of the U.S. prison system.

    The five men are to be sent to a so-called "supermax" prison in the state of Colorado, where the country’s most notorious terrorists are often sent.

    "One of the issues in this case was whether it was acceptable for the U.K. to send someone to the U.S. when they would be put in a supermax prison and subjected to conditions which to European eyes are frankly just not acceptable," said Smith.

    The European Human Rights Court ruled that the five men would not recieve "ill treatment" in super-maximum security prisons.
     
    Smith says another concern in Britain is that there is an imbalance in the extradition agreement between Britain and the United States.

    "We interpret it as meaning automatic extradition of people requested by the U.S. and the U.S. has a provision in its constitution which requires the proof of probable cause before someone is extradited. So it is often said that we need to re-balance the agreement," he said.

    The five men are expected to be flown to the United States immediately.

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    Comments
         
    by: Dr. Malek Muhammad Towghi from: USA
    October 05, 2012 7:34 PM
    President Obama, Please, Keep them all, Abu Hamza & Co., in Gitmo. By the way, "nikos from NY", You are talking nonsense. We love our president, President Barack Obama, and will elect him for FOUR MORE YEARS. Sorry ! you will have to pay a little bit more taxes for enjoying the citizenship of this great country IF among the top-one-percent ! Peace.

    by: Harbinger from: UK
    October 05, 2012 4:49 PM
    amazing how short an interval of time it was from the declaration of an "open society" to a Muslim conquest of Britain... we feel besieged in our own country... the concentrated depravity of Islam permeates throughout our society... what can we do to save our country???

    by: Ed from: Seattle, WA
    October 05, 2012 4:10 PM
    Republicans hate to see it, but yet another success for President Obama. He is on a roll lately.

    by: Rob Swift from: United Kingdom
    October 05, 2012 4:04 PM
    Mr Hamza is certainly not a proper moslem. Everything he does is a violation of the Koran. He is a man of violence only.

    by: dogbreath from: California
    October 05, 2012 3:49 PM
    If Romney is elected the Republicans can lie to us, invade the wrong country, get us in two protracted and expensive wars, crash the economy, dump the mess in the lap of the next president, and then try to block every attempt to remedy the mess they create. Must sound good to you nikos.

    by: KMcK from: NYC
    October 05, 2012 3:42 PM
    It is a tragedy US tax dollars will be used to feed, bath and cloth this animal, and the like, for the rest of his life. As a democracy I believe that "We the people..." should have a say/vote as to what the terrorists' fate will be once they are extradited. It is likely they would be justifiably treated as mercilessly as they treated the innocents slaughtered on 9/11....let's take a vote!

    by: Cleanup Philly from: Philly
    October 05, 2012 3:19 PM
    Welcome to freedom, hook boy. Not your own.

    Don't worry, after Romney gets elected, they'll get the full due process of law.

    by: nikos from: NY
    October 05, 2012 1:27 PM
    Have no fear, Obama will take good care of him, I think he is already writing his apology letters for this to the Muslims of the world- apologizing for arresting this man of peace, tolerance and love.

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