UK orders terror suspect extradition to U.S.
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Home Secretary Charles Clarke Tuesday ordered a British citizen indicted on terrorism charges in Connecticut to be extradited to the United States to stand trial.
Babar Ahmad, 31, was indicted in October 2004 on charges of providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy and money laundering. If convicted, he could face a life prison sentence.
A statement from the Home Office said Clarke was "satisfied that the conditions for his extradition have been met." However, Ahmad has the right to appeal the decision, which could delay his return to the United States.
The Home Office said Ahmad had 14 days to appeal.
Clarke said the British government was committed to completing extradition requests in terror cases "as quickly as possible" and would look for ways to expedite the process.
Ahmad's case is the first to be handled under a new extradition agreement reached between Britain and the United States two years ago, which eliminated a requirement that the underlying evidence supporting the charges be presented in support of an extradition request.
Ahmad's family released a statement calling Clarke's decision "a sad day for Britain and an even sadder day for British Muslims."
The statement also quoted Ahmad's reaction to the decision from prison, in which he said it "should only come as a surprise to those who thought that there was still justice for Muslims in Britain."
The indictment against Ahmad, returned by a federal grand jury, accuses him of conspiring to provide support to terrorists, including helping to ship gas masks to the Taliban and using U.S.-based Web sites to raise money for Chechen leader Shamil Basayev, who has claimed responsibility for the 2004 Beslan school massacre in Russia.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Ahmad is charged with providing material support to terrorists; conspiracy to kill, kidnap or injure people in a foreign country; and money laundering.
All of the charges except money laundering carry a possible life sentence; the money laundering charge, up to 20 years in prison.
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