Radical Muslim cleric arrested in London

May 27, 2004 at 6:13 AM
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LONDON, May 27 (UPI) -- Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was arrested in London Thursday under a U.S. extradition warrant on charges related to terrorism, the BBC reports.

Police sources said Hamza was arrested at around 3:00 a.m. at his home in west London, and was expected to appear in court later Thursday.

The Egyptian-born cleric -- who has one eye and a hook for one hand -- has been accused of advising and supporting terrorist groups, including al-Qaida. He said he sustained the injuries while fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, CNN reported.

Banned from speaking at the mosque because of his radical sermons, Hamza frequently speaks to followers gathered outside the mosque. He has called the war in Iraq a "war against Islam" and blamed the September 11 attacks on the Jews.

The court process could take months, as Hamza would have the right to appeal if England decides to extradite him to the United States.

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