UK court approves extradition of jailed Muslim cleric to US for terror charges

UK court approves extradition of jailed Muslim cleric to US for terror charges

[JURIST] A British court ruled Thursday that the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] can be extradited to the United States on charges of supporting terrorism. Abu Hamza, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence in the UK [JURIST report] for urging his followers to kill Jews and other non-Muslims, faces US charges [PDF text] of attempting to establish terrorist training camps in Oregon, conspiring to take hostages in Yemen, and helping terror training in Afghanistan. With extradition approved by London's City of Westminster Magistrates Court, UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith [official profile] is free to render a final decision in the case.

The US initially sought extradition [BBC report] in February 2006, but hearings were delayed while Abu Hamza appealed his UK conviction. The US renewed its extradition efforts [JURIST report] earlier this year, after the House of Lords denied Abu Hamza's request to continue his appeals. AP has more.