The hype about the arrest of Abu Hamza started off with The Sun.
The Sun is reported as actually having precipitated the 3am raid on Abu Hamza's home, by tipping off the police that they were going to publish their "story" about his imminent arrest, which they claim to have got from
"And The Sun learned last night from sources in Washington that the extradition process has been under way in secret for WEEKS."
The Sun article manages to claim, presumably for its own political agenda, that Abu Hamza is "Palestinian-born", rather than having been born in Egyptian.
They have been running a hate campaign against him so vitriolic, that, presumably, they have been trying to predjudice any jury trial which he might ever face in the UK.
"He faces deportation to America within weeks."
No, not even under the new "speedier" Extraditon Act 2003, the likelyhood is that no decision will be made on his extradition until 2005, as that is when the Special Immigration Tribunal appeal, under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 will be heard, about the already in train process of stripping his UK nationality from him.
The Extraditon Act unjustly applies retrospectively and is a disgraceful surrender of UK sovereignty by Home Secretary David Blunkett since US authorities no longer have to show reasonable evidence to a court in the USA to apply for extradition from the UK, they just need to make a statement claiming that there might be evidence. The reverse process i.e. extradition of someone in the USA back to the UK in such a manner is forbidden under the US Constitution.
(Why do US legal indictments seem to be produced on a manual typewriter ?)
If you actually read what he has been indicted for in the USA, one can immediatly see that the main "evidence" against him for "conspiracy", rests on the use of phone call intercept and communications data "evidence" about his home phone in the UK and a satellite phone in Yemen.
It is not illegal to buy ?500 of satellite phone air time even nowadays. It may possibly be construed to be so under the Terrorism Act 2000, but this happened in 1998, before the Act was passed.
Abu Hamza has already been questioned by UK authorities about the 1998 Yemen kidnap affair in 1999, and no charges were brought, despite an extradition request from the Yemen authorities, and the fact that Abu Hamza's sons were peripherally involved in the incident, where the storming of the kidnappers' hideout by the Yemen authorities led to the deaths of 4 of the hostages.
Presumably the USA government thinks it can make use of this phone intercept evidence which,under the UK Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, is inadmissable in a UK court.
The USA indictment uses strange, nonsensical terminology, which does not correspond to any offence under UK law, such as "jihad training camp", Does this mean a hostile weapons training camp, or does "jihad" mean, as has been pointed out countless times, simply mean "struggle" i.e. a peaceful Koranic study camp ? No camp of any sort was actually set up.
They also use the phrase "facilitating violent jihad in Afghanistan" in the period up to the USA led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. In what way was this illegal, given that the Taliban regime was only recognised by its neighbour Pakistan ?
When Abu Hamza lost his hands and eye in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet forces, was he "facilitating violent jihad in Afghanistan" ? If so, then so were many USA agents and allies.
How exactly is our security enhanced by extraditing Abu Hamza to the USA ? If he is to be extradited anywhere , it should be to the Yemen.
Better the devil you know and keep under surveillance. Abu Hamza on the streets of London, under close MI5 scrutiny must be more of an intelligence asset than having him locked away in the USA.
Why are the Government giving this fanatic the oxygen of publicity, and the chance to portray himself as a martyr ?