05-23-2022  10:45 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Salinas, Erickson, Win Primaries in New Oregon 6th District

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NEWS BRIEFS

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Presumptive case of monkeypox reported in Seattle area

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US releases environmental study about new Idaho test reactor

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OPINION

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The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

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ENTERTAINMENT

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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Atika Shubert CNN

(CNN) -- A European court on Monday ruled that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza can be extradited from Great Britain to the United States, where he faces a host of terrorism charges.

The European Human Rights Court issued its ruling, clearing the way for Hamza's extradition. This means that he can now be moved to the United States, though no date has been set.



Hamza faces 11 charges in U.S. courts, including conspiracy in connection with a 1998 kidnapping in Yemen and conspiring with others to establish an Islamic jihad training camp in rural Oregon in 1999.

The cleric is one of the highest-profile radical Islamic figures in Britian, where he was already sentenced to seven years for inciting racial hatred at his north London mosque and other terrorism-related charges.

The Egyptian-born Hamza -- who is also known as Mustafa Kamal Mustafa -- has previously denied wrongdoing, saying, "They have no evidence against me whatsoever apart from me trying basically to open the people's eyes about certain principles."

Monday's decision, which was signed by seven judges from different European nations, follows a ruling this spring in which the same court likewise said that Hamza and four other terror suspects could be extradited.

The court determined, then and now, that the suspects would not get "ill treatment" in super-maximum security prisons if they are extradited to the United States and convicted in American courts, according to the European court's decision Monday.

That ruling noted that conditions in such U.S. prisons were in some ways better for inmates than in Europe, given that they'd have access to things like television, newspapers, social visits and hobby-related items. It acknowledged the prisoners may be confined in their cells most of the time, but said this is warranted given the charges they face.

"As concerned ... restrictive conditions and lack of human contact, the court found that, if the applicants were convicted as charged, the U.S. authorities would be justified in considering them a significant security risk and in imposing strict limitations on their ability to communicate with the outside world," the court ruled.

The British Home Office issued a statement Monday saying it "welcomes" Monday's decision, which also affects several others wanted in the United States.

"We will work to ensure that the individuals are handed over to the U.S. authorities as quickly as possible," the office said in its statement.

The U.S. Justice Department, through spokesman Dean Boyd, similarly applauded the European Human Rights Court's ruling.

"We are pleased that the litigation before the European Court of Human Rights in these cases has come to an end, and we will be working with the UK authorities on the arrangements to bring these subjects to the United States for prosecution," Boyd said.

In addition to Hamza, the four others who can now be extradited to the United States are Syed Thala Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary, Khaled Al-Fawwaz and Babar Ahmad.

The court earlier this year delayed its decision on a sixth suspect, Haroon Rashid Aswat, so that further information could be provided regarding mental health issues.

All six men were indicted in the United States on various charges between 1999 and 2006, after which they were arrested in the United Kingdom.

Ahmad, for one, is accused of providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy and money laundering. If convicted, he could face a life prison-sentence.

The U.S. indictment against Ahmad accuses him of conspiring to provide support to terrorists, including helping to ship gas masks to the Taliban and using U.S.-based websites to raise money for Chechen leader Shamil Basayev. Basayev claimed responsibility for the Beslan school massacre in Russia in 2004, two years before he was killed by Russian agents.

CNN's Carol Cratty contributed to this report.

 

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