Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

U.S. Begins Legal Process for Cleric and 4 Others ; after Fight with Britain for Extradition, Terrorism Suspects Appear in Court

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

U.S. Begins Legal Process for Cleric and 4 Others ; after Fight with Britain for Extradition, Terrorism Suspects Appear in Court

Article excerpt

After a protracted battle in the British and European courts, Abu Hamza al-Masri, an incendiary Muslim preacher with links to Al Qaeda, and four others were extradited to the United States

After a protracted battle in the British and European courts, Abu Hamza al-Masri, an incendiary Muslim preacher with links to Al Qaeda, and four other terrorism suspects implicated in an array of terrorist plots have been extradited to the United States to face federal charges in New York and New Haven, Connecticut.

Appearing in Federal District Court in New York on Saturday, Mr. Masri, 54, who lost both hands and an eye in an explosion, looked considerably thinner and diminished in appearance than in recent photographs. As Magistrate Judge Frank Maas read the 11-count indictment, he remained seated and looked down at court papers that a lawyer turned for him.

Two other defendants in New York, Adel Abdul Bary, 52, and Khaled al-Fawwaz, 50, were arraigned on charges including murder and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in connection with the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, in which more than 200 people were killed. They pleaded not guilty.

In New Haven on Saturday, the remaining two defendants, Seyla Talha Ahsan, 33, and Babar Ahmad, 38, pleaded not guilty to charges that included conspiring to recruit fighters, raise money and gather equipment for terrorists on Web sites hosted out of Connecticut.

The federal authorities in the United States had long been seeking the extradition of Mr. Masri, an Egyptian-born cleric, for his involvement in a 1998 kidnapping of U.S. citizens in Yemen, supporting the establishment of a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, and "facilitating violent jihad in Afghanistan," according to a statement by the U.S. attorney in the New York borough of Manhattan. …

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