Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TERROR POLICE ARREST HAMZA; Hook-Handed Cleric Wanted by the US Is Seized before Dawn

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TERROR POLICE ARREST HAMZA; Hook-Handed Cleric Wanted by the US Is Seized before Dawn

Article excerpt

Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT

RADICAL Muslim cleric Abu Hamza was arrested by police in a predawn raid today.

The hook-handed preacher was seized following a request by the US authorities who want to question him over links with al Qaeda.

Officers from Scotland Yard's extradition squad went to his home in west London at 3am, backed by armed officers and antiterrorist branch detectives.

Hamza was arrested and taken to the high-security Paddington Green police station.

He was appearing under tight security before magistrates at Belmarsh prison's special courtroom this afternoon for the first of what could be many extradition hearings.

Today forensic science officers were carrying out a painstaking search of his council house in Shepherd's Bush. Police wearing overalls could be seen removing videos, a computer, an attache case and other documents.

Scotland Yard did not name the cleric but said a 47-year-old British citizen had been arrested following a US request for his extradition. Police refused to give details of the extradition warrant except to say that it referred to " assistance in terrorist-related matters in the United States".

The warrant is believed to allege that Egyptian-born Hamza, who is regarded by US intelligence as a pivotal member of Osama bin Laden's European cell, conspired to set up a terrorist training camp and recruited young men to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

US counter-terrorism officers have spent recent months shuttling back and forth between London and Washington to discuss the moves. A federal grand jury has been meeting in secret in New York to hear evidence against Hamza.

He is likely to fight the extradition bid and is also likely to seek legal aid for his defence.

The US case against Hamza is thought to be based on information from suspects in custody there. It may include information from Feroz Abbasi, one of the Britons still held in Guantanamo Bay, or from James Ujaama - a former friend of Hamza's jailed for two years in Seattle this year after pleading guilty to helping the Taliban. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.