Terror suspect Babar Ahmad files legal challenge against extradition to US at UK High Court

Associated Press

LONDON - A British man accused of terrorist fundraising on Monday launched a High Court bid to halt his extradition to the United States, mirroring a similar move by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.

Babar Ahmad, 38, has been detained in Britain since 2004 on a U.S. warrant. He is accused of running websites used to raise money for terrorists, and of supplying terrorists with gas masks and night-vision goggles. He has not faced charges in Britain, but has been held without trial for the longest period of any British citizen detained since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Last week, a European court decision appeared to have cleared the way for the extradition of Ahmad and four other terror suspects — including al-Masri — after an eight-year legal battle.

Al-Masri, wanted on charges that include helping set up a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon, and Khaled Al-Fawwaz, a second terror suspect, have since filed challenges against extradition at Britain's High Court.

Britain's Judicial Office on Monday confirmed Ahmad had joined them.

All three challenges will be heard Tuesday.

A fourth man, Adel Abdul Bary, has filed a separate challenge.

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

Prosecutors in Connecticut accused Ahmad in 2004 of running several websites including Azzam.com, which investigators say was used to recruit members for the al-Qaida network, Chechen rebels and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Ahmad was originally arrested in Britain in 2003 on suspicion on terrorism offences, but did not face charges from U.K. prosecutors and was later released. He was subsequently arrested in 2004 over the U.S. allegations.

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