A judge on Friday approved the extradition to the United States of Abid Naseer, a suspected Al-Qaeda operative accused of planning attacks in Britain, the U.S. and Norway.
The 24-year-old Pakistani is wanted by U.S. authorities over allegations that he provided material support to Osama bin Laden’s Islamist network and conspired to use explosives.
Naseer was allegedly part of an Al-Qaeda cell in Britain whose members planned to attack Manchester.
The judged approved the U.S. application, but said the case will now go to the home secretary for final approval.
According to the extradition application, Naseer allegedly used codewords about weddings, marriage, girlfriends’ computers and the weather to refer to attacks, bomb ingredients, travel documents and target sites.
Naseer challenged the extradition on grounds that he would be at risk of torture and death if he was acquitted in the U.S. and returned to Pakistan. The judge did not agree with Naseer’s argument and granted the extradition.
Naseer was one of 12 men, mostly students, arrested in counter-terrorism raids in northwest England in 2009 over a suspected bomb plot.
All the men were released as there was insufficient evidence to charge them and they were ordered to be deported. But in May Naseer won the right to stay in Britain when a judge ruled his safety could not be guaranteed if he returned to Pakistan.
Naseer has plans to appeal the decision, therefore extradition to the U.S. may not be immediate.
Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.
The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at one of the offices listed above.