“Extradited Briton Babar Ahmad admits terrorism offences”

December 10, 2013

BBC on December 10, 2013 released the following:

By: Dominic Casciani

“A British man who spent eight years fighting extradition to the US has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.

Babar Ahmad, 39, from south London, admitted conspiracy and providing material to support to terrorism and faces up to 25 years in jail.

He admitted the offences in a plea agreement hearing in a federal court hearing in New Haven, Connecticut.

A second British man, Syed Talha Ahsan, is also expected to enter related guilty pleas later.

Both men were extradited to the US in October last year. Ahmad’s eight-year battle against extradition was a record for a British citizen and he had thousands of supporters.

Ahmad appeared in the New Haven District Court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. He did not change two separate pleas of not guilty that he had previously entered to charges of conspiracy to kill and money laundering.

District Judge Janet Hall said she would review Ahmad’s admissions before sentencing on 4 March 2014. The plea agreement means that Ahmad faces a reduced sentence – although the prosecution is still seeking 25 years.

US authorities say that at the heart of the case against both of the men was a website and terrorism support cell network that Ahmad oversaw in London. He was accused of providing logistical and financial support to Muslim fighters in Afghanistan.

In the plea agreement, released by the court, Ahmad states that “he solicited and conspired to provide funds [and] personnel for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan” and that he and others “recruited men to travel to Afghanistan for mujahedeen training and sought out gas masks to send abroad.”

Ahmad launched Azzam publications in the late 1990s as probably the first website promoting jihadist thought in English. It went on to play a pivotal role in propagating the political ideology at a critical point in its development and growth in the West.

The site was shut down within weeks of 9/11 – but in practice much of its content lived on in other forms.

Sajid Badat, a British man who renounced extremism after plotting to blow up a plane, told investigators that he had first been radicalised by Ahmad.

The ringleader of the 7 July London bombers had copies of some of Azzam’s texts on martyrdom – and his will was partly a copy of a document first published on the website.

Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan tried to avoid extradition on the basis that the website’s activities were conducted in the UK, where neither man had been charged or prosecuted for terrorism offences.

But although part of the US case against the men was based on investigations by the Metropolitan Police, the website was technically based in the US and it appealed for support from American and Canadian Muslims.

Ahmad’s campaign to stay in the UK led to more than 100,000 people signing an official government e-petition in an attempt to get a debate in Parliament.

Shortly before he lost his extradition battle, BBC News interviewed him in prison. During that interview, Ahmad denied supporting al-Qaeda inspired terrorism in the West, such as 9/11 and 7/7.

Cageprisoners, a campaign group that supported Babar Ahmad’s battle against extradition, said the plea bargain was “a result of him being stuck within a justice system that offers no way out.”

Moazzam Begg, the group’s outreach director, said: “We must be careful against seeing this as an admission of guilt. Babar had little choice but to make this decision after finding himself amid torturous conditions within the impossible labyrinth of US injustice.

“This episode is a damning indictment of a system that does not rest until it saps its victims´ hope and tramples their dignity underfoot.””

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

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 mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


UK – New trial location rules follow terror extraditions

October 25, 2012

BBC on October 25, 2012 released the following:

Written by Dominic Casciani

“The Crown Prosecution Service has published new guidelines which say that people accused of crimes which cut across national boundaries should be tried in the country where most of the alleged offending occurred.

This comes weeks after it said it could not intervene in the extradition of two men who said their crimes were committed in the UK.

The document is part of the changes that are being introduced to how the UK deals with extradition arrangements with the United States and other nations.

The document and its recommended approach to these complex cases comes three weeks after two British men, Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, failed to halt their extradition to the US despite arguing their alleged offences occurred in the UK.

I’ll come back to their case later – but first let’s look at the CPS’s guidelines. They’ve come into force as of now – but are subject to review following consultation in the weeks to come.

The problem the CPS is trying to solve is this: if both the UK and another nation want to prosecute someone for the same crime, where should that individual stand trial?

We are going to see increasing numbers of these kinds of cases in the years to come because globalisation has made it easier for crimes to be committed across borders, particularly where the internet is one of the tools used by offenders.

The new guidelines say that the starting point should be some kind of joint approach to investigation between two nations, so that law enforcement agencies in each country are clear what the other is doing and why. That relationship should include sharing information so that prosecutors can work out what charges someone can face in each jurisdiction.

It then says the following:

“So long as appropriate charges can properly be brought which reflect the seriousness and extent of the offending supported by admissible evidence, a prosecution should ordinarily be brought in the jurisdiction where most of the criminality or most of the loss or harm occurred.”

This charging decision should take into account the ability to get hold of relevant evidence held by the other country. Ultimately, says the CPS, the aim should be to have a single prosecution in just one of the countries where the suspect is wanted.

The document says there are other factors that can help to decide where someone should face prosecution, including the location of witnesses, the accused and co-accused.

US extraditions

So, back to the cases of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan.

The pair were extradited to the United States on 5 October and are in jail in Connecticut, facing trial next year. Their extradition happened on the same day as the extradition of Abu Hamza so a lot of the detail got lost amid the focus on the jailed radical cleric.

They are accused of terrorism offences linked to a website which they have both confirmed they operated. The US authorities say the website supported mujihadeen and jihadists around the world, until it was closed in 2002. The men have entered not guilty pleas in court in the US and, during a BBC interview, Mr Ahmad said he opposed terrorism.

Babar Ahmad was first arrested by the Metropolitan Police in 2003 – and his trial is expected to include material seized by British officers in those searches. It’s possible that the US authorities will ask British detectives to appear as witnesses – as has happened in a linked trial involving an American citizen.

The US authorities will make plain in the trial that Mr Ahmad and Talha Ahsan (who was never arrested by British police) were operating the website in London. They claim jurisdiction because the website was technically served from computers in Connecticut and the indictment makes wider allegations of conspiracy with US nationals.

During their last ditch attempt to avoid extradition, lawyers for Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan pressed the CPS in court to clarify why there had never been a charge in the UK. The CPS said it considered some charges – but had insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Judges comprehensively threw out an attempt to privately prosecute the men, describing it as an attempt to thwart entirely legitimate extraditions to the US, approved by every court that had examined the applications. You can read their full judgement, which explains why the extraditions should go ahead, here.

The Home Secretary has already separately announced that she wants to see a new “forum bar” that would allow judges to block some extraditions where the UK is the most appropriate location for a trial.

Irrespective of where that leads, the question is whether the new CPS guidance would have stopped the two extraditions had it been in force three weeks ago?

The guidance seeks to avoid that conclusion by making clear that the CPS should not reopen a case after an extradition request has been made. In the Babar Ahmad case, prosecutors say they finished looking at the case before the US made its request.

But that won’t satisfy the tens of thousands of people (Muslims and otherwise) who signed petitions calling for this British pair to face British justice.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

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 mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Lawyers Seek to Block Muslim Cleric’s Extradition to U.S.

October 3, 2012

The New York Times on October 2, 2012 released the following:

“By ALAN COWELL

LONDON — Lawyers for a Muslim cleric wanted in the United States on terrorism charges said on Tuesday that the preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri, was physically unfit to face the accusations against him and that it would be “oppressive to extradite him” under the terms of British law.

Mr. Masri, 54, has been resisting extradition since 2004. American prosecutors want him to face charges of calling for holy war in Afghanistan, involvement in kidnappings in Yemen and participating in a plot to set up a terrorism training camp in Bly, Ore.

Mr. Masri, who was born in Egypt and was notorious for fiery sermons at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London, has been in prison in Britain since 2006 on separate charges, including incitement to murder.

Over the years, he has successfully avoided extradition through a series of legal hearings. But, last week, the European Court of Human Rights rejected a request for the right to appeal — a decision that British officials took as the final word permitting his extradition.

In court filings on Tuesday before a scheduled High Court hearing, Mr. Masri’s counsel, Alun Jones, said he would seek an interim injunction arguing that there is an “uncontradicted medical opinion that a scan is medically necessary” in light of the cleric’s “deteriorating health.”

If medical tests find him “unfit to plead, or arguably so, it will be argued that it would be oppressive to extradite within the meaning of” Britain’s extradition laws, Mr. Jones said according to The Press Association news agency.

The law is very clear, Mr. Jones said. “If a person is established to be unfit to plead, he should not be extradited.” But if “there is an issue” concerning fitness to plead, “he should indeed be extradited.”

Mr. Jones said a judge had referred in 2008 to Mr. Masri’s “very poor health.”

“Over four years later, it appears there has been, or may have been, a further deterioration, perhaps attributable to sleep deprivation and the continued confinement of the appellant in an unrelentingly harsh environment,” the lawyer said.

Mr. Masri, hook-handed and one-eyed from injuries many years ago, is one of five men wanted in the United States on charges ranging from murder to running a jihadist Web site. All five are seeking High Court injunctions to prevent their extradition, but none of them was expected to appear in court. Their cases will be heard by two judges over the next few days.

The four other suspects are Seyla Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Babar Ahmad. Mr. Bary and Mr. Al-Fawwaz were charged with multiple murders in the 1998 bombings of the American Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed more than 200 people. Mr. Ahsan, like Mr. Ahmad, is charged with providing support to terrorists and conspiracy-related offenses.

British civil liberties activists have complained about the treatment in particular of Mr. Ahmad, 37, a computer expert accused of being a fund-raiser for terrorist causes. He has been held without charge or trial for eight years. In an unusual interview earlier this year, Mr. Ahmad declared: ‘’I have been in prison now for nearly eight years without trial. I am facing extradition to the U.S. to spend the rest of my life in solitary confinement. I have never been questioned about the allegations against me. I have never been shown the evidence against me.”

Last April, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Britain could legally extradite all five men. They asked for the right of appeal but that request was denied last week, triggering the latest moves at the High Court.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

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 mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


A European Court Ruled Abu Hamza al-Masri Can be Extradited to the United States to Face Terrorism Charges

September 25, 2012

The Associated Press on September 24, 2012 released the following:

“UK to extradite radical Muslim cleric to US

By SYLVIA HUI, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — A European court ruled Monday that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, including allegedly trying to set up an al-Qaida training camp in rural Oregon.

The decision ends a long-running legal battle and means that al-Masri, considered one of Britain’s most notorious extremists, could be deported within weeks along with four other terrorism suspects in Britain.

Authorities in the U.S. have for years asked for Al-Masri and the others to be handed over, but the process had been delayed because the men raised human rights objections.

The men had argued before the European Court of Human Rights that they could face prison conditions and jail terms in the U.S. that would expose them to “torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” in breach of the European human rights code.

In April, the Strasbourg, France-based court rejected those claims. Al-Masri and the four others lodged an appeal to the court’s highest judges, but on Monday the court said it refused to hear it. “Today the Grand Chamber Panel decided to reject the request,” the court said in a brief statement. It did not give a reason for refusing the appeal.

Britain’s Home Office and the U.S. Department of Justice welcomed the decision.

“We will work to ensure that the individuals are handed over to the U.S. authorities as quickly as possible,” said the Home Office.

The suspects, who are accused of crimes such as raising funds for terrorists, could face life sentences in a maximum-security prison.

Al-Masri was arrested in Britain in 2004 at the request of U.S. authorities, who have called him “a terrorist facilitator with a global reach.”

They accuse him of assisting the taking of 16 hostages — including two American tourists — in Yemen in 1998 and of conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, between 2000 and 2001.

He also is accused of conspiring with a U.S. citizen to facilitate a jihad — or holy war — in Afghanistan and providing material support to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The cleric, who is blind in one eye and wears a hook for a hand, lost several British court cases in his fight against extradition before taking the case to the European court in 2008.

Known for his fiery anti-Western and anti-Semitic outbursts, he claims he has lost his Egyptian nationality, but Britain considers him an Egyptian citizen. He is currently serving a seven-year prison term in Britain for separate charges of inciting hatred.

The other four suspects due to be extradited to the U.S. are Babar Ahmad, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary.

Ahmad and Ahsan are charged in U.S. federal court in Connecticut with running a terrorist website in London, providing material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill U.S. nationals, and money laundering. Supporters of Ahmad, who was arrested in 2004 and has been held in a British jail since then without charge, are trying to help him get a trial in Britain because his alleged offense happened in London.

Al-Fawwaz and Bary, accused of being key aides to Osama bin Laden in London, are wanted in a New York federal court for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Al-Fawwaz faces many counts of murder.

The human rights court said that it has not decided on the case of a sixth suspect, Haroon Rashid Aswat, who was accused of being Al-Masri’s co-conspirator in attempting to set up the camp in Oregon. The court said it needed to consider more information about his case.

In Washington, Dean Boyd, spokesman for the National Security Division of the U.S. justice department, said: “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 U.K. authorities on the arrangements to bring these subjects to the United States for prosecution.””

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

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 mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Babar Ahmad accuses Britain of ‘outsourcing’ his terror case to US

April 5, 2012

The Guardian on April 5, 2012 released the following:

“Briton detained without charge since 2004 while fighting extradition to US makes televised plea to be tried in the UK

Babar Ahmad, the British man jailed without trial since 2004 while fighting extradition on terror charges, has pleaded to be tried in Britain and accused the police of “outsourcing” his case to the US.

Ahmad, accused of running a US-hosted website that encouraged terrorism, said he had never been formally questioned about the allegations against him or been presented with any evidence.

Ahmad, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme following a high court challenge by the broadcaster to secure the interview, admitted he had previously fought “battles” in Bosnia but said he believed terrorism to be wrong.

He told the programme: “I am facing extradition to the United States and spending the rest of my life in solitary confinement. I have never been questioned about allegations against me and I have never been shown any evidence against me.

“It is fair to say I’m fighting for my life and I’m running out of time.”

Ahmad said that if he had been charged and tried in 2003 it is likely he would have been released from a British prison by now, even if he had been found guilty.

He accused the British police of “outsourcing” the case to the Americans. He said: “All the offences against me are alleged to have happened in this country.

“Had the police and CPS put me on trial in 2003 – which they could have done – I would have left prison years ago regardless of the outcome. I have been in this nightmare fighting extradition for the past eight years.

“I absolutely reject any allegation that I have supported terrorism in any way and in any place – whether in Chechnya, or Afghanistan, or any other part of the world.

“I believe terrorism to be wrong and I believe targeting and killing innocent people to be wrong.”

He added: “The right place for me to respond to these allegations is either in a court of law or a formal police interview.”

The BBC is scheduled to broadcast the full interview on Thursday’s Newsnight.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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


British Fight Extradition of Babar Ahmad to US

July 29, 2011

A senior Parliamentary committee has called for the Government to take immediate action to stop the extradition of British detainee, Babar Ahmad, to the US.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) published a report on UK Extradition Policy, in which they investigated cases of extradition to America, where the evidence used was gathered by UK police, in the UK, about acts committed on UK soil and where the Crown Prosecution Service had decided not to prosecute. In these situations, it would be expected for the accused to be released, as with them having not been prosecuted, there would be no reason for them to be further detained. However, under Article 5(3) of the US-UK Extradition Treaty 2003, extradition is allowed where the competent authorities of the Requested State have decided not to prosecute, discontinue prosecution or are still investigating. The US has requested the extradition of Babar Ahmad under this article.

Ahmad is the longest detained-without-charge British detainee in modern history, having been held as a part of the global “war on terror” for the last six years.

Commenting on the UK’s extradition policy, particularly on Article 5(3), the JCHR stated at paragraph 196 of their report: “We recommend that the Government urgently renegotiate this article of the US-UK extradition treaty to exclude the possibility that extradition is requested and granted in cases such as that of (…) Mr Ahmad, where the UK police and prosecution authorities have already made a decision not to charge or prosecute an individual on the same evidence adduced by the US authorities to request extradition.”

This statement follows the recent comment, made by Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, Recorder of Westminster and Deputy High Court Judge, for Ahmad’s “ordeal” to come to an end.

Having received these recent comments, the family of Babar Ahmad are calling upon the British Government to either release him, or to put him on trial in the UK. They of course join the senior Parliamentary committee in protesting Ahmad’s extradition to the US, and are appealing to the UK’s current extradition laws.

When asked by The Muslim News about the controversial UK Extradition Policy, a Home Office spokesperson said, “The UK’s extradition arrangements are currently being reviewed by an independent panel to ensure they operate effectively and in the interests of justice.”

As the aspects of the policy that we asked about are the main aspects being questioned in the review, they felt it would be “inappropriate to comment further”.

However, the review is not expected to be completed until the end of this summer, which could prove to be too late for many victims of the UK Extradition Policy.

This article was written by Saliha Shariff and published by The Muslim News on July 29, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

Bookmark and Share


London Police Officers Charged with Assaulting Individual While Carrying Out U.S. Extradition Request

September 22, 2010

Four police officers have appeared in a London court charged with attacking a terrorist suspect they were arresting on a U.S. extradition warrant.

Constables Nigel Cowley, Roderick James-Bowen, Mark Jones and John Donohue are accused of assaulting Babar Ahmad in December 2003.

The 36-year-old computer specialist is accused by the United States of running websites used to raise money for terrorists.

The accused spoke only to confirm their names during a hearing Wednesday at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Their lawyer said they plan to plead not guilty. Their trial is due to begin October 29, 2010.

Ahmad remains in prison awaiting the outcome of a European court hearing on his extradition. Last year police paid him $95,000 in damages.

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 mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share