Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri appeared in a British court on Tuesday and was charged with encouraging his followers to kill non-Muslims, several news agencies reported on Tuesday. Al-Masri, 46, is former head cleric at London's Finsbury Park mosque, which has been linked to terror suspects including alleged Sept. 11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.
Out of the 16-count indictment, Al-Masri faces 10 charges of soliciting to murder, four charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting behavior with intent to stir up racial hatred, one charge of possessing threatening, abusive or insulting sound recordings and one charge of possessing a terrorist document. These charges pre-empt the extradition charges filed by the U.S.
The charges in the U.K. pre-empt his extradition to the United States to face more serious terrorism related charges. Al Masri has been in custody in Britain since last May when an indictment filed in the Southern District of New York charged al Masri with allegedly trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon, involvement in hostage-taking in Yemen and funding terrorism training in Afghanistan.
These charges against al Masri appear to represent recognition in the U.K. that the cleric is more involved in terrorist operations than previously accepted by British authorities. U.S and French counter-terrorist officials have complained for years that, despite al Masri's known links to Islamic terrorists, he was allowed to preach his extremist views and use his mosque to recruit young men to the Jihad.
7 Terror Suspects Arrested In Raids Across Spain
Spanish officials say seven suspected Islamic militants arrested in raids across the country Monday and Tuesday were plotting to bomb the National Court building in Madrid. (VOA)
Spain: Terror Suspects Targeted Court
Aradical Muslim cell broken up by Spanish police had been plotting to bomb the National Court, a hub of Spain's investigations of Islamic terrorism, the interior minister said Tuesday.(AP)
Spain Ignored Terror Attack Warning - Report
Spanish intelligence agents warned police last November that an Algerian now identified as a ringleader of the Madrid train bombings was preparing an attack, a newspaper claimed today. (The Scotsman)
U.S.2-Fingerprint Border ID System Called Inadequate
Terrorists who alter their fingerprints have about an even chance of slipping past U.S. border watch-list checks because the government is using a two-fingerprint system instead of one that relies on all 10 prints, a lawmaker said in a letter he made public yesterday to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. (Washington Post)
U.S. Rejects Pleas for Muslim Charity List
The U.S. government rejected a request Monday from Muslim groups to draw up a list of Islamic charities to which they could donate without being suspected of terrorist ties. (AP)
'New Stage' of Fear For Chechen Women
Russian Forces Suspected in Abductions. (Washington Post)
Aid Worker Kidnapped in Iraq
The head of British charity Care International UK in Iraq has been kidnapped on her way to work. (BBC)
Saddam Aide in Exile Heads List of Most Wanted Rebels
A former Baathist based in Syria has been identified as the Mr Big behind terrorism. (The Observer)
Report: Bush Blocked Plan for Muslim Iraq Force
The United States rejected a Saudi plan for an all-Muslim force to protect U.N. election staff in Iraq because the force would not have been under U.S. command, New York daily Newsday reported Monday. (Reuters)
Blair Plan To Shift Iraq Force Assailed
Critics See Attempt To Appease U.S. (Washington Post)
'Al Fallujah Mujaheddin Council' Threatens Allawi —Web Statement
A statement posted on the internet Monday allegedly by "Al Fallujah Mujaheddin Consultation Council" threatened to kill Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi because of the continuous strikes by coalition forces on Fallujah. The statement criticized Allawi for threatening attacks on al Fallujah if the most wanted militant in Iraq Abu Musaab Al Zarqawi was not handed over. "We are not followers of al Zarqawi, we do not know him and did not meet him," the statement said, adding that they would cooperate with al Zarqawi if he asks them to only to spite "the infidels." (ABCNEWS Investigative Unit)
ANALYSIS & OPINION
Politics of 'Fear Over Vision' Explored on British Television
New documentary series says danger from al Qaeda is 'dramatically overstated.' (CS Monitor)
Al Qaeda is No Dark Illusion
In the days before outness, the actor, Sir John Gielgud, was at a dinner party with a young thesp who loudly professed his own heterosexuality. Gielgud smiled at him and replied, witheringly, "How lovely to be so sure!" The true state of the human being, Gielgud implied, was not really knowing. (The Guardian)
The Usual Suspects?
As the Sinai bombing investigations enter their second week, the attackers' identities remain anybody's guess, giving way to plenty of theories. (Al Ahram Weekly)
Zarqawi and Bin Laden: Brothers in Arms?
The statement has not been authenticated and verifying the author of web postings is almost impossible … But even the suggestion of some kind of alliance marks another twist in the much disputed tale of the relationship between Zarqawi and Bin Laden. (BBC)
Al-Jazeera Between Ossetia and Baghdad
We are not in front of a TV station as much as we are in front of a political plan. (Al Hayat)
A Compendium of Iraqi Insurgent Groups, and What It is They Want
Iraq's insurgencies began with the U.S. military invasion in March 2003 and gained momentum after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime when the United States moved to dissolve the Iraqi military and implement a sweeping de-Baathification policy. This convinced many Iraqis — particularly Sunni Arabs — that they were about to become victims rather than participants in the post-Saddam order. (The Daily Star)
The Strategy to Secure Iraq Did Not Foresee a 2nd War
Many military officers and civilian officials say the Bush administration's miscalculations in Iraq cost the U.S. valuable momentum. (NY Times)
The Insider Daily Terrorism Report (DTR) is a summary of major news articles and broadcasts relating to international terrorism and developments in Iraq. The DTR is edited daily from foreign and U.S. sources by Chris Isham, Hoda Osman, and Brinda Adhikari of the ABCNEWS Investigative Unit. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ABCNEWS.