Subway bomb plot suspect's extradition OKd
LONDON - A British court on Friday approved the extradition of a terror suspect wanted in the United States over an alleged plot to detonate explosives aboard New York City's subway system.
Judge Quentin Purdy ruled Abid Naseer, 24, can be sent to the United States to stand trial in federal court in Brooklyn for his alleged role in a terror campaign that would have struck at targets in Britain, Norway and the United States.
It was unclear when the jailed Naseer could be turned over to U.S. authorities since he has a right to appeal the decision. Britain's Home Secretary has the final decision about whether to endorse the extradition order. Naseer's lawyer, Ben Cooper, said his client will appeal Friday's decision.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say they aim to prove Naseer collected bomb ingredients, conducted reconnaissance and was in contact with other al-Qaida operatives as part of a foiled New York plot and a second suspected plot to bomb a shopping area in the northern English city of Manchester.
If convicted in the United States, he could face life in prison.
Naseer was one of 12 people arrested in a counterterrorism operation in April 2009, but all were subsequently released without charge. Naseer was rearrested in July 2010 at the request of the prosecutors in Brooklyn, where a federal indictment names him as a co-defendant of Adis Medunjanin.
U.S. authorities allege Medunjanin and former high school friends Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay traveled to Pakistan in 2008 to seek terror training from al-Qaida. Zazi, an airport van driver from Colorado, admitted in a guilty plea that once back from Pakistan he tested peroxide-based explosive materials in a makeshift lab in Denver in the fall of 2009 before traveling by car to New York to carry out the scheme.
Authorities say Medunjanin and Ahmedzay agreed to join Zazi in three coordinated suicide bombings on Manhattan subway lines during rush hour near the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks - what Zazi called a "martyrdom operation." The plot was disrupted when police stopped Zazi's car as it entered New York.
Ahmedzay also has pleaded guilty and is cooperating. Medunjanin is fighting the charges. - AP