U.S. presses U.K. case against suspect

Aug. 7, 2004 at 8:36 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. officials are trying to extradite from Britain a man they say was in contact with a U.S. Navy reservist serving on a destroyer in the Middle East.

That unidentified reservist, who has since concluded his tour of duty, allegedly supplied Babar Ahmad with detailed information about the Constellation carrier battle group, including its classified travel plans and its vulnerability to attack, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Ahmad appeared in a London court Friday as U.S. prosecutors unveiled charges describing him as a fundraiser and propagandist for the Taliban and for Muslim separatist fighters in Chechnya, the Times said.

If convicted in the United States, he would face a life prison term.

The British arrested Ahmad at the request of U.S. prosecutors on charges that include conspiracy to fund terrorists, conspiracy to support the Taliban, soliciting violent crime, and conspiracy to launder money for terrorists who are planning murder.

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