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UK judge clears alleged terrorist's deportation to America

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A British judge has approved the U.S. extradition of Abid Naseer
  • Pakistani man is suspected of aiding terrorists and plotting to use a destructive device
  • The judge's ruling must now be approved by Britain's home secretary
  • Naseer's lawyer promises to appeal the ruling
RELATED TOPICS
  • Abid Naseer
  • Terrorism
  • Extradition
  • Al Qaeda

London (CNN) -- A British judge ruled Friday that a man wanted by U.S. authorities for alleged terrorism offenses can be extradited to the United States.

The decision to extradite 24-year-old Abid Naseer must now be approved by Britain's home secretary, Theresa May.

Ben Cooper, an attorney for Naseer, immediately declared his intention to appeal the ruling.

American officials have promised to return Naseer to Britain if he is acquitted by a U.S. court -- a key factor in Judge Quentin Purdy's ruling.

British police arrested Naseer in July after the United States requested his extradition to face charges of supporting terrorists and plotting to use a destructive device, London's Metropolitan Police Service said last summer.

Naseer, a Pakistani national, has been in and out of the British court system for almost two years.

He was first arrested in March 2009 in Manchester, England, where he had been living on a student visa. That arrest was part of a massive sweep across northwest England in connection with an alleged plot to carry out bomb attacks in Britain.

No one was charged in connection with those allegations, though a panel of judges hearing a subsequent deportation attempt against Naseer said it was satisfied that he was an "al Qaeda operative who posed and still poses a serious threat to (the United Kingdom's) national security."

In May, Britain's Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that Naseer faced a risk of being tortured if he were sent back to Pakistan and blocked his deportation on European human rights grounds.

The commission said it was convinced that Naseer had sent coded e-mails to an al Qaeda contact in which he used girls' names in place of ingredients for explosives and a made-up wedding date for the date of the attack. It relied partly on secret evidence in making its decision.

The commission, however, said it had seen no evidence that the men had handled explosives.

Naseer was arrested again last July after a warrant was issued for him in the United States, partly on charges of supporting a foreign terrorist organization.

CNN's Antonia Mortensen and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report

 
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