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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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.
x
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.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid