Extradited terrorism suspects appear in US courts


Associated Press

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Updated Saturday, Oct 6 at 11:33 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A partially-blind extremist cleric from Egypt and four other terrorism suspects have appeared in court in New York City and Connecticut, hours after they were brought to the United States from England to face trial.

They had fought for years to avoid extradition.

The preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri (AH'-boo HAHM'-zuh ahl MAHZ'-ree), didn't enter a plea to charges that he conspired to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon, and that he helped abduct 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998 -- including two Americans.

The four other men pleaded not guilty. The two who appeared along with al-Masri in New York are accused of taking part in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998.

The other two were arraigned in Connecticut on charges of providing terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya with cash, recruits and equipment.

A prosecutor calls the extraditions a "watershed moment" in the fight against terrorism.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says he's "delighted" that al-Masri is now out of the country. He's been in a British jail since 2004 on separate charges.

%@AP Links

135-a-16-(Karen Todner (TAHD'-nur), British extradition lawyer, in interview)-"not have happened"-Karen Todner, a British extradition lawyer, says laws need to change because at least one terror suspect's alleged crimes were committed in Britain, but prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (6 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *135 (10/06/12)>> 00:16 "not have happened"

134-a-17-(British Home Secretary Theresa May, in interview)-"with other countries"-British Home Secretary Theresa May says her country needs to study why it took so many years to extradite the terror suspects. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (6 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *134 (10/06/12)>> 00:17 "with other countries"

APPHOTO LON819: A cavalcade of police vehicles reported to be carrying Abu Hamza leaves Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire, central England Friday Oct. 5, 2012. The BBC reported that its reporter saw a police convoy carrying al-Masri leave Long Lartin Prison, saying the suspect was en route to a handover with U.S. Marshals. Radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other terror suspects who have fought for years to avoid facing charges in the United States have no more grounds for appeal and can be extradited from Britain immediately, Britain's High Court ruled Friday. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira/PA Wire) UNITED KINGDOM OUT (5 Oct 2012)

<<APPHOTO LON819 (10/05/12)>>