British Terror Suspect Allegedly Tried to Set Up Training Camp In Arizona
Posted: April 1, 2005
A suspected terrorist supporter, whom the U.S. government is trying to extradite from Britain, allegedly attempted to set up a terrorist training camp in Arizona in 1998.
Babar Ahmad, a 30-year-old British-born computer specialist, has been held by British authorities in London since August 2004 on an extradition warrant for allegedly running U.S.-based Web sites designed to raise money for terrorism. Ahmad was arrested in London at the request of U.S. authorities on a warrant issued from Connecticut, where the Web sites Ahmad operated were physically hosted.
An extradition hearing has been adjourned until April 18, while lawyers representing the U.S. investigate whether Ahmad might be handed over to a military tribunal if extradited.
According to John Hardy, a lawyer representing the U.S. government in Britain, in 1998 Ahmad met in Phoenix with Yaser al-Jhani, a member of the Islamic mujahedeen militia, and others who claimed to have access to Osama bin Laden. "He expressed an interest in developing a training system in Arizona…for the mujahedeen to visit and train to fight abroad," Hardy said.
According to a U.S. criminal complaint, Ahmad was indicted on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to support the Taliban and solicitation to commit a crime of physical violence.
Between 1997 and 2004, Ahmad allegedly ran Web sites that, among other things, provided detailed instructions on how to raise and transfer money to the Taliban and how to obtain visas to travel to Afghanistan.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement affidavit filed in the case also indicates that British authorities found documents in the London home of Ahmad's parents' describing ways to attack U.S. Navy battle ships in the Middle East.