Radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza fought extradition for eight years, but today he lost his final appeal and will be sent from the United Kingdom to the United States to face terror charges. High court judges in the U.K. rejected a plea that the former Imam was ill and needed to undergo a brain scan. They also ruled that four other terror suspects should be extradited immediately. Paraic O'Brien, Channel Four Europe reports.
LONDON -- The radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri on Friday lost his final appeal against extradition from Britain to the United States, where he is wanted on charges of supporting al-Qaida and aiding a fatal kidnapping in Yemen.
Judges at the High Court in London dismissed his request for more medical tests that his lawyers said would prove he was unfit to be extradited, clearing the way for a handover.
The decision caps a long legal battle, which saw the cleric launch a fresh appeal in Britain last week after the European Court of Human Rights rejected his earlier bid to avoid being sent to the United States.
Britain's Home Office, or interior ministry, has said it will hand over al-Masri and four other suspects "as quickly as possible."
There was controversy last month after a BBC journalist revealed the Britain's Queen Elizabeth had privately raised concerns several years ago about why al-Masri had not been arrested. The BBC later apologized for the "breach of confidence."
If convicted, the Egyptian-born al-Masri, 54, could face a sentence of more than 100 years in an ultra-secure "Supermax" prison.
He had argued such treatment would contravene Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhumane and degrading treatment.
Al-Masri, who has one eye and a metal hook for a hand, is one of the most radical Islamists in Britain, a country he has attacked for its support of U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Four terrorists wanted on U.S. charges have lost their case at the European Court of Human Rights and will be extradicted to the United States after years of legal battles. ITV's Lucy Manning reports
He has also praised the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and was once a preacher at a North London mosque but was later convicted of inciting murder and racial hatred.
Al-Masri was indicted in 2004 by a federal grand jury in New York, accused of providing material support to al-Qaida and of involvement in a hostage-taking in Yemen in 1998 in which four hostages -- three Britons and one Australian -- were killed.
He was also accused of providing material support to al-Qaida by trying to set up a training camp for fighters in Oregon and of trying to organize support for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
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