British Judge Approves Extradition of American Al Qaeda Supporter

A British judge has approved the extradition of an American accused of supplying Al Qaeda operatives with money and military equipment.

Syed Hashmi, 26, who lived in New York City before moving to Britain in 2003, will face trial in the United States if Home Secretary John Reid, Britain's top law enforcement official, gives final approval for the extradition.

Hashmi was indicted in a Manhattan federal court in May for allegedly providing military equipment to people who took it to members of Usama bin Laden's terrorist organization in 2004.

The military gear was "to be used by Al Qaeda to fight against United States forces in Afghanistan," the indictment said, without elaborating on what the equipment was.

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Hashmi has lived in Britain since 2003 although his student visa has expired. He was arrested in June as he boarded a plane bound for Pakistan at London's Heathrow Airport.

He appeared Thursday at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court before District Judge Nicholas Evans.

Hashmi's lawyer, Mark Summers, said the United States should not be involved in the case.

"The defendant was arrested here, he was here and, save in the most tenuous way, this case has absolutely nothing to do with the Americans," Summers said.

CountryWatch: United Kingdom