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British Authorities Arrest Muslim Cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri - 2004-05-27

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has been arrested in Britain at the request of U.S. authorities, who are seeking his extradition.

London police said only that a 47-year-old man has been taken into custody following an early morning raid at his West London home. They did not give the man's name, but it has been widely reported that the detainee is Abu Hamza al-Masri, an Islamic radical who is suspected of providing help to terrorist groups, including al-Qaida.

The cleric is being held at a central London police station, and his home has been searched by members of the anti-terrorist squad.

The charges against him have not been disclosed, but police say his arrest was carried out on a U.S. extradition warrant. The U.S. embassy in London said it did not have any further details.

Mr. al-Masri is already fighting deportation by the British government, which accuses him of supporting terrorist organizations. Last year, Britain revoked his citizenship, but he has appealed the decision to a special immigration court.

The Egyptian-born Muslim radical is also wanted by Yemen.