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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > UK terror suspect Babar Ahmad facing extradition to U.S.- recruited Jihad fighters via websites -linked to NJ Imam Mazen Mokhtar

UK terror suspect Babar Ahmad facing extradition to U.S.- recruited Jihad fighters via websites -linked to NJ Imam Mazen Mokhtar

Iraq food for oil politician George Galloway says he is "proud to call Babar my friend"
May 17, 2005

Babar Ahmad Babar Ahmad, pictured in green, is fighting extradition to the US

MIM: Babar Ahmad was linked to New Jersey Imam Mazan Mokhtar, who was charged in connection with Ahmad and other terrorists in the UK . Mazan was charged with running a website called Minna.org which raised money for Al Qaeda . http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/239


Meanwhile, a New Jersey man is under investigation for having helped a British computer specialist, also arrested in London this week, allegedly solicit funds for a terrorist group by creating and operating an exact replica of the British man's Web site.

Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born imam and political activist, operated a Web site identified in an affidavit unsealed Friday by the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut. The Web site solicited funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujaheddin, according to the affidavit. It is an exact replica of Web sites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested in England on a U.S. extradition warrant this week.

The affidavit said the New Jersey home of the mirror Web site operator, identified on a Web site as Mokhtar, was searched in the recent past and that copies of Azzam Publications sites, operated by Ahmad, were found on Mokhtar's computer's hard drive and files.

Officials at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, which is leading the investigation, declined yesterday to comment on Mokhtar or the New Jersey investigation.

Ahmad possessed three-year-old classified routes of a U.S. naval battle group and is believed to be part of a branch of al Qaeda linked to Khalid Sheik Mohammed that authorities on three continents have been working to capture in recent weeks. He allegedly operated two U.S.-based Web sites, one in Connecticut and one in Nevada.

Ahmad, a British subject of Pakistani descent, faces four charges of involvement with terrorism. His attorney, appearing in a British court Friday, denied Ahmad was involved in terrorism.

According to the affidavit, Ahmad "worked in concert" with the New Jersey-based operator of www.minna.com, who is identified on the site as Mokhtar. Mokhtar is described in news reports as a U.S. citizen in his mid-thirties and an outspoken advocate of Palestinian causes. There was no answer at a phone listed at Mokhtar's home Friday or Saturday.

News accounts of rallies where Mokhtar has spoken have also described him as an imam, or spiritual leader, at the Masjid al-Huda mosque in New Brunswick, N.J. He was scheduled to speak later this month in Pennsylvania at a summer camp run by Young Muslims, at a seminar titled "A Few Good Men."

Ahmad is also the cousin of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, who was arrested last month in Pakistan. Khan's computers carried detailed surveillance of five financial buildings in New York, Newark and Washington and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to elevate the threat alert level to orange.

Staff writer Sari Horowitz and staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report


Terror suspect facing extradition http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4554829.stm A judge has ruled that British terror suspect Babar Ahmad can be extradited to the United States.

The district judge told London's Bow Street Magistrates' Court it was a "difficult and troubling case".

Mr Ahmad, 31, a computer expert from London, is accused of running websites that supported terrorists and urged Muslims to fight a holy war.

The case has been sent to the home secretary for final approval and Mr Ahmad has the right to appeal.

BBC home affairs correspondent Andy Tighe believes an appeal is likely, in which case the matter would be decided in the High Court.

In claims dating back to 1997, the US government has accused Mr Ahmad of "conspiring to support terrorism", saying he "sought, invited and solicited contributions" via websites and emails.

The US Department of State has claimed that websites run by Mr Ahmad, who is from Tooting, south London, urged Muslims to use "every means at their disposal" to train for jihad, or holy war.

Terror allegations

The websites are said to call for support for terrorist causes in Afghanistan and Chechnya, as well as encouraging the transfer of money and useful equipment via the sites.

Lawyers representing Mr Ahmad said he would be at risk of the death penalty if he was sent to the US and transferred to military jurisdiction.

But senior district judge Timothy Workman, who described the matter as "a difficult and troubling case", decided that "none of the statutory bars apply" to refusing extradition.

He said it would be up to Home Secretary Charles Clarke to decide if Mr Ahmad should be sent to the United States.

Judge Workman told Mr Ahmad that he had the right to appeal to the High Court.

Any extradition order would come under UK legislation designed to speed up the extradition of suspected terrorists, which came into force in January 2004.

Under the act there is no requirement for the US authorities to present a prima facie case, although UK authorities must do so in seeking extraditions from the US.

Muddassar Arani, the defendant's solicitor, said the decision had been political and her client made a "scapegoat".

And Mr Ahmad's wife, Maryam, said: "We will fight to the end. We will never give up.

"We believe we are not just fighting for Babar but for any other British citizen who can be subject to such a treaty which is one-way and will deny fundamental human rights."

Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "If our government has any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Babar Ahmad then he should be charged in this country and put on trial here."



May 17, 2005

'Terror website' suspect can face US justice, judge rules
By Chris Johnston, Times Online

A British man accused of running al-Qaeda recruiting websites can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, a judge ruled today.

Babar Ahmad is wanted by the US Government to answer charges of soliciting support for terrorism and trying to set up a terrorist training camp.

Charles Clarke, who has the final say on the extradition, will make a decision in the next 60 days. As the US has promised not to seek the death penalty for Mr Ahmad, of Tooting, South London, the Home Secreary is expected to approve the judge's ruling.

Lawyers for Mr Ahmad, who is also accused of conspiring to kill Americans and laundering money, said that they would appeal any decision to send him to the US.

Judge Timothy Workman said that he accepted "categorical assurances" by the Americans that they would not seek the death penalty or declare Mr Ahmad, 31, an "enemy combatant", a category applied to prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay base.

Referring to the death penalty, Judge Workman said: "I have reached the conclusion that the risk of this being imposed by a civilian court is negligible."

But he told the court: "This is a difficult and troubling case. The defendant is a British subject who is alleged to have committed offences which, if the evidence were available, could have been prosecuted in this country.

"Nevertheless, the Government of the United States are [sic] entitled to seek his extradition under the terms of the treaty and I'm satisfied, that the reasons that I have just given, that none of the statutory bars apply.

"I am therefore sending this case to the Secretary of State for his decision as to whether the defendant should be extradited to the United States of America."

He added he had "no doubt" that the complex issues in the case would need to be examined by the High Court and he told the defendant that he had the right to appeal to the High Court.

Mr Ahmad, who was indicted in Connecticut in October, is accused of running several websites that investigators have said were used to recruit al-Qaeda, Taleban and Chechen rebels and to equip them with gas masks, night-vision goggles and camouflage gear.

His case is being heard under contentious "fast track" extradition procedures that came into effect in January 2004. The new rules lessen the burden of proof in some cases, allowing certain countries, including the US, to provide "information" rather than evidence that a crime has been committed.

Mr Ahmed has been backed by George Galloway, the Respect MP who is in Washington today to give evidence to a Senate committee that has accused him of being given oil allocations by Saddam Hussein.

Mr Galloway had planned to express his support for the terror suspect outside Bow Street Magistrates Court, where several dozen supporters turned out today to protest against the extradition decision.

Before leaving London yesterday, Mr Galloway said: "I am proud to call Babar my friend and if there is guilt by association so be it."

Mr Ahmad has not been charged despite being held in London's top security Belmarsh jail since last August.

From his prison cell, he stood unsuccessfully as a candidate in this month's election in Brent North, a north-west London constituency with a large Muslim population.

SEE ALSO: Terror suspect 'sought chemicals'
18 Nov 04 | London US terror charges for web expert
07 Oct 04 | London Terror arrest 'abuse' file closed
10 Sep 04 | London Terror suspect condemns charges
13 Aug 04 | London Father defends terror suspect son
08 Aug 04 | UK Terror suspect 'had naval plans'
06 Aug 04 | London

RELATED INTERNET LINKS: US Department of State Home Office Muslim Council of Britain

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