Countries fight over terrorist

05.27.04

The United States is seeking extradition of Abu Hamza al-Masri, a British imam charged with coordinating a hijaking in Yemen and trying to organize a terrorist training camp in Oregon. But Britain and Yemen both want to press charges against him too:

Eleven charges were announced Thursday by U.S. authorities against Abu Hamza al-Masri, whose real name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa. He was arrested earlier in the day by British police and is being held in London pending extradition proceedings.

Charges outlined Thursday of providing assistance to terrorists could spark a 100-year prison sentence for Mr. al-Masri, 47. He could theoretically receive the death penalty on the hijacking charge, though the United States probably will have to foreswear that option before Britain, which has abolished capital punishment, will consider extraditing him.

Further complicating the case is the fact that Britain is already considering charges against Mr. al-Masri. Yemen is also seeking his extradition.

“This case could take months and months to sort out,” a senior British security source told Reuters.

This is not a nice guy. He held services at the same mosque that the Shoe Bomber and one of the September 11th hijackers attended. He’s also implicated in working directly with the Taliban and Al-Qua’eda in Afghanistan. Britain was so threatened by him that they’ve been trying to deport him… but now it seems like they want to keep him so they can put him on trial.

Al-Masri, for his part, is sure to do everything in his legal power to stay in Britain and avoid extradition to the U.S. He knows full well that sentencing will be lighter there, and media coverage much more favourable. He’s probably counting on becoming a “martyr” through media coverage and attention, and the British press is sure to oblige.

Yippee. I can’t wait.

Update: The nauseating “political-pawn” articles are already beginning.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Peter 05.28.04 at 7:40 AM

I say cut off his head with a dull knife. Then dump his body and severed head on mecca.

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