UK extraditing pro-al-Qaida cleric to U.S.

Feb. 7, 2008 at 3:56 PM   |   0 comments

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LONDON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza who preached pro-al-Qaida sermons at a London mosque will be extradited to the United States, British officials said.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith signed an extradition order Thursday for the cleric, whose real name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, a spokesman told United Press International. Hamza has 14 days to appeal the order, beginning a legal fight that could end up in the European Court. Similar cases have dragged on for years.

The U.S. Department of Justice requested Hamza's extradition in 2004, after he was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York.

Since his arrest in 2004, Hamza has been tried and convicted by a British Court of soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred. He is currently serving a seven-year term.

Hamza faces 11 terrorism charges in the United States, including allegations he funded terrorism, sought to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon between 1998 and 2000 and conspired to take 12 Westerners hostage in Yemen in 1998.

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