UK’s Islamic cleric appeals extradition to US

July 10, 2012

Reuters on July 10, 2012 released the following:

“* Abu Hamza al-Masri fights extradition to U.S.

* Egyptian-born cleric, held in UK, accused of al Qaeda link

* Strasbourg court had ruled his deportation legal

STRASBOURG, France, July 10 (Reuters) – One of Britain’s most notorious Islamist clerics has appealed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights allowing London to extradite him to the United States, slowing down U.S. efforts to prosecute him for terrorism.

The appeal filed by lawyers for Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other suspects late on Monday will delay attempts to put the Egyptian-born cleric on trial on charges he supported al Qaeda and aided a fatal kidnapping in Yemen.

A panel of five judges could decide within a few weeks on the merit of the appeal, judicial sources said.

In April, the court ruled it lawful for Britain to extradite al-Masri, famed in the British media as a one-eyed radical with a metal hook for a hand, to the United States, where he could face a sentence of over 100 years in high security “Supermax” prisons.

That ruling similarly applied to Barbar Ahmad, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled Al-Fawwaz, all incarcerated in Britain, three of whom have been under indictment for years in New York.

Lawyers for al-Masri had argued that such treatment would contravene his human rights. The appeal focuses on the risk of being subjected to “inhuman and degrading treatment” in such prisons, the sources said.

If the appeal is deemed valid, it will be judged by the grand chamber of 17 judges at the Strasbourg-based court It is rare for a case to be accepted to be heard by that full body.

Al-Masri is viewed as one of the most radical Islamists in Britain where he was once a preacher at a North London mosque but was later jailed for inciting murder and racial hatred. He is being held in a British jail.

He was indicted in 2004 by a federal grand jury in New York, accused of providing material support to al Qaeda and for involvement in a 1998 hostage taking in Yemen in which four hostages were killed. (Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac; Writing by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)”


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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom here.


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Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.


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British Court Grants U.S. Extradition Request for Alleged Terror Suspect

January 24, 2011

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 or at one of the offices listed above.

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ACLU Granted Permission to Sue the U.S. Government

August 5, 2010

The American Civil Liberties Union said the U.S. Treasury Department gave it permission to sue the government over an alleged policy of seeking to kill U.S. citizens abroad who are terrorism suspects.

The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights said they were retained to bring the suit by the father of U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, of Yemen, whom they say has been “targeted for death” without being charged or convicted. Al-Awlaki has been identified by the U.S. as a leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The ACLU and the Center sued the Treasury Department and its Office of Foreign Assets Control on August 2, claiming they violate the constitution by requiring, in some cases, a permit for lawyers to represent terrorism suspects.

Al-Awlaki, is identified on an OFAC list of “specially designated nationals” as a 39-year-old native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, with dual citizenships, in the U.S. and Yemen.

An Islamic cleric, al-Awlaki is said by the U.S. to have ties to recent al-Qaeda attacks on American targets. He would be tried in Yemen if captured because the nation’s constitution forbids extradition of its citizens, said Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi in an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram.

Citing reports published in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, the ACLU and the Center allege in their complaint that the cleric is on a CIA target list. The CIA target list identifies those who are to be captured or killed. The government already tried to kill him using a drone aircraft, the lawsuit against Treasury claims.

In addition to their contemplated al-Awlaki lawsuit, the New York-based organizations said they’ll continue to press their case against the Treasury Department’s licensing regime.

In some cases, OFAC has issued a general license to authorize the provision of certain legal services to individuals on the Specially Designated Nationals list. Nevertheless, in most cases, attorneys are still required by law to obtain a specific license from OFAC authorizing payment for attorneys fees and expenses related to that representation. The process of obtaining a specific license from OFAC can be quite time consuming. Due to the high number of license applications at OFAC, determinations on simple license requests are averaging roughly two (2) months. Those seeking removal from the SDN list, should know that OFAC has substantial control over that list and the removal process could take several years. The process is long and grueling, and is often one-sided and biased.

OFAC’s director, Adam Szubin, said in a statement yesterday he was willing to discuss the licensing issue with the groups.

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 or at one of the offices listed above.

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