Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Yo, Brown" won't work quite as well

One almost gets the sense that there is a sudden rush of US criminal indictments of British citizens*; could it be that American prosecutors suspect that a post-Blair environment won't be quite so favourable to the procurement of suspects? Following quickly on the BetOnSports arrest (where the unfortunate Mr Carruthers made things easy for the feds by changing planes in Dallas) comes a new indictment and extradition request related to the Babar Ahmad case. Syed Talha Ahsan from Tooting is now co-accused with Ahmad of running websites in Ireland, Britain, the US, and Malaysia that accepted donations of money and equipment allegedly destined for terrorist groups.

Unlike the NatWest 3, Ahmad and Ahsan's cases fall squarely within the intent of the controversial 2003 extradition legislation -- but the lack of reciprocal action by the US is just as germane as it was to the NatWest 3 campaign (and we haven't heard much in the way of results from Baroness Scotland's visit to see US Attorney-General Al Gonzales to encourage US ratification of the treaty, have we?). Also unlike the NatWest 3, the two, if extradited, would become Muslim non-citizen terrorism suspects in US custody. The case thus merits very close scrutiny.

*UPDATE: we're not sure that the people we refer to in the post are British citizens, although they are clearly British residents. Will try to check this.

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