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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More