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Judge rules Hamza can face US trial

ABU HAMZA AL-MASRI can be extradited to the United States, a judge in Britain ruled yesterday -- three and a half years after the extremist preacher was arrested on a "fast-track" warrant.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has two months in which to make the final decision on whether the former imam of Finsbury Park mosque will be flown to New York to face trial on terrorist charges.

Abu Hamza, who was born in Egypt and whose real name is Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, faces a US indictment listing 11 offences, including attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and sending money and recruits to assist the Taliban and al-Qaida.

The most serious charges allege that he assisted a gang of kidnappers in Yemen, who abducted a party of Western tourists in 1998. Abu Hamza, 49, bought the kidnappers a satellite phone and allegedly gave them advice and assistance during the kidnap, in which four people were shot dead. (©The Times, London).

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