Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Al Qaida suspect extradited to US

Scotland Yard says Abid Naseer, an alleged al Qaida operative accused of planning global terrorist attacks, has been extradited to the United States

An alleged al Qaida operative accused of planning to launch terror attacks worldwide has been extradited from the UK to the United States, Scotland Yard has said.

Abid Naseer, 26, was arrested in mid-2010 on suspicion of being a member of a UK-based al Qaida cell, which was plotting attacks in the US and the UK, including Manchester.

Metropolitan Police officers earlier escorted Naseer from Belmarsh Prison to Luton Airport where he was taken into custody by US authorities.

Naseer was one of 12 men arrested in the north west of England by officers from the Met's Extradition Unit and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit following a warrant issued at the request of the US government.

US prosecutors want Naseer to stand trial for a bomb plot, feeding intelligence to al Qaida and acting as an agent for the organisation, which was founded by Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistani national was allegedly involved with the UK terror cell between September 2008 and April 2009 and planned to attack a target in Manchester city centre, most likely in St Ann's Square or the Arndale shopping centre.

US evidence suggested that al Qaida attacks in the US, England and Norway were being planned while communications about weddings, marriage, girlfriends, computers and weather were codes that referred to attacks and bomb ingredients.

Naseer, who originally came to the UK on a student visa, took his fight to stay in the UK to the European Court of Human Rights after exhausting his appeal options.

But the Strasbourg court threw out his case in December, paving the way for his extradition.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed the extradition, adding: "His case is now a matter for the US authorities."

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