LONDON – Two British men charged with terrorism-related offenses may be extradited to the United States, a court ruled Thursday.
Lawyers for Haroon Rashid Aswat and Babar Ahmad argued that, despite U.S. assurances, there was a risk that the men would be mistreated, or tried and sentenced as enemy combatants.
Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice John Laws said that argument "would require proof of a quality entirely lacking here."
The court did not immediately rule on whether the two men could appeal the decision to the House of Lords, Britain's highest tribunal.
Ahmad faces charges of supporting terrorism, conspiring to kill Americans and running a Web site used to fund terrorists. Aswat is accused of plotting to set up a camp in Bly, Ore., to train fighters for war in Afghanistan.
Ahmad, who was arrested in London in August 2004 and indicted in Connecticut a few months later, is accused of running several Web sites including one that investigators say was used to recruit members for Al Qaeda, Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime and Chechen rebels.
Aswat was arrested in Zambia shortly after the July 7, 2005, London transit bombings and deported to Britain, where he was detained under a U.S. warrant.
He was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York City, accused of conspiring with radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri — now serving seven years in a British jail for inciting followers to kill non-Muslims — to set up the "jihad training camp" in Oregon.
Oregon authorities have said the camp never materialized beyond a dozen people taking target practice.
In both cases, a lower court judge allowed extradition after receiving assurances from U.S. authorities that they would not seek the death penalty, put the men before military tribunals or declare them "enemy combatants," a category applied to detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.