FRANKFURT, Germany – A German court has approved the extradition of a Yemeni cleric and another man believed to be his assistant, wanted by the United States on charges of supporting Al Qaeda.
The Frankfurt state court ruled that Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad and Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed, believed to be al-Moayad's assistant, can be extradited to the United States on the condition they would not face the death penalty, said court spokesman Wolfgang Frank.
The court also set the condition that the pair could not be held in any confinement centers outside of natural U.S. territory, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Frank said.
U.S. authorities accuse al-Moayad of supporting Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terror network and the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas.
He and Zayed were arrested in January at a hotel near the Frankfurt airport. They have been held in detention since, pending the ruling on their extradition, which now needs final approval from federal officials in Berlin.
U.S. officials suspect al-Moayad of supplying millions of dollars, recruits and weapons to Usama bin Laden in the years leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Yemeni officials say Al-Moayad, a leading member of Yemen's Islamic-oriented Reform party, left Yemen for medical treatment in Germany 10 days before his arrest. The former legislator suffers from asthma and diabetes.