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U.K.: Islamic leader to face U.S. terror charges

Britain's Home Office says Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri will be extradited to the United States to face terror charges.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Britain's Home Office on Thursday approved the extradition of an Islamic preacher who is accused of trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon, a spokesman said.

Abu Hamza al-Masri was arrested on an U.S. extradition warrant in May 2004, but the process was put on hold while he stood trial in Britain and then appealed his convictions.

The Home Office's approval of his extradition means the preacher could be sent to the United States within a month.

"The Home Secretary today has signed an order approving the extradition," a Home Office spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

Al-Masri has 14 days to appeal the extradition order. If he does not, he will be sent to the U.S. within 28 days, the spokesman said.

Al-Masri already has been sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in Britain for fomenting racial hatred and urging his followers to kill non-Muslims.

If tried and convicted in the United States, Al-Masri, the former head preacher at London's Finsbury Park Mosque, would carry out the rest of his sentence in Britain before serving any prison term in the U.S.

Al-Masri is also accused of conspiring to take hostages in Yemen and facilitating terrorist training in Afghanistan.