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Briton fights U.S. extradition

March 3, 2005 at 7:14 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, March 3 (UPI) -- A British computer expert ran Web sites recruiting fighters and raising funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujahedin, an extradition hearing has heard.

Babar Ahmad, 30, from south London, is fighting extradition to the United States on five charges of using Web sites to incite the murder of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The Web sites, operated in the United States, allegedly revealed links to the Chechen fighters behind the Beslan school attack. They also gave advice on arms training and smuggling cash to the Taliban.

At the start of a two-day hearing in London Wednesday, John Hardy, for the U.S. government, said that the Web sites "sought and invited and solicited contributions to terrorist causes in Afghanistan and Chechnya," the Times of London reported.

Edward Fitzgerald, defending Ahmad, said that the definition of terrorism as "an act of violence for political ends" was too broad. On that basis, he said: "One would say President Bush was a terrorist. He is constantly concerned in violence with political ends."

The Taliban were the de facto government in Afghanistan, and Chechnya was invaded by the Russians despite a peace treaty in 1998, he said. The mujahedin were therefore acting in self-defense.

Topics: Babar Ahmad
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