Friday, July 25, 2008
The House of Lords, Britain’s highest appellate court, ruled that there was “no point of law or general importance” that would justify further review in a case brought by Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, an Egyptian-born Muslim cleric who is fighting his extradition to the United States on terrorism charges. He faces criminal charges in the United States in an 11-count indictment for his part in a global plan to wage holy war against the United States. The cleric became well known for sermons in support of Al Qaeda and in praise of suicide bombers. The criminal charges against him in the United States include allegations that he masterminded a terrorist ambush in 1998 in which 16 foreign tourists (some of them Americans) were taken hostage in a remote area of Yemen. He is also charged with conspiring to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon, to provide combat training for missions in Afghanistan. Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, signed an order approving his extradition, and British officials said that the cleric would be extradited to the United States as soon as he exhausted his legal recourses in the United Kingdom. The cleric is serving a prison sentence in the United Kingdom, but had reached the point where he would have been eligible for release if he had not been indicted in the United States. Lawyers for the cleric said that they would try to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to fight his extradition to the United States.