Abu Hamza loses appeal: Radical Muslim cleric to be extradited to US


Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza on April 16, 2004 in London. The European Court of Human Rights approved Hamza's extradition from the UK to the US on April 10, 2012, along with four other suspected terrorists, setting a precedent for extradition between the countries.


Bruno Vincent

Radical Muslim Abu Hamza al-Masri lost his appeal on Monday and will be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, according to officials.

Britain's Home Office said the cleric, who is accused of trying to set up an Al Qaeda training camp in rural Oregon, will be extradited as soon as possible, according to the Associated Press.

The European Court of Human Rights gave the extradition of Al-Masri and four other terror suspects its final approval, with the court's judges saying they would not re-open the cases, the BBC reported. They upheld a decision they made in April to hand over the terror suspects to the US.

"The Home Secretary (interior minister Theresa May) welcomes today's decision not to refer the cases of Abu Hamza and four others to the Grand Chamber," said a spokesman for the interior ministry, according to Agence France Presse.

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The accused men have claimed they will face inhumane treatment in the United States. However, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on April 10 that "detention conditions and length of sentences of five alleged terrorists would not amount to ill-treatment if they were extradited to the USA," according to The Daily Telegraph.

Al-Masri is also accused of assisting in kidnappings in Yemen, while Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan allegedly ran a jihadist website and provided material support for terrorism. Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled Al Fawwaz are accused if serving as aides to Osama bin Laden, the BBC said.

The Daily Telegraph noted that the lengthy legal battles, some of which have been going on for 13 years, have cost £4 million ($6.48).

Al-Masri, the one-eyed cleric with a hook for a hand, was jailed in Britain for seven years starting in 2006 for inciting his followers to murder non-believers, AFP noted.

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