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.
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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs