Abu Hamza: Extradition timeline

  • Finsbury Park

    January 2003

    Abu Hamza comes to public attention as a preacher at Finsbury Park mosque. In 2003, police raid the mosque as part of a counter-terrorism operation and seize replica guns and CS gas canisters.

    In 2002, the Charity Commission tries to suspend Abu Hamza from his post at the mosque over some of his inflammatory speeches. The commission claims he was using the mosque, a registered charity, to spread his brand of radical Islam.

    Even after police temporarily close the mosque in 2003, Abu Hamza, continues to lead prayers on the streets outside.

    Report by Daniel Sandford, first broadcast 20 January 2003

  • Extradition

    May 2004

    The US government launches extradition proceedings against Abu Hamza. He is facing 11 terror-related charges including hostage-taking and supporting al-Qaeda.

    He is accused of acting as a go-between for a terrorist group which took 16 tourists hostage in the Yemen in 1998. Three Britons and an Australian were killed in a rescue attempt. An American woman was shot but lived. The kidnapping was to win the release of Abu Hamza's stepson and five others.

    The cleric is also accused of attempting to set up a terror training camp in Bly, Oregon, to prepare fighters for the jihad in Afghanistan.

    Report by Margaret Gilmore, first broadcast 27 May 2004

  • Jailed

    February 2006

    The extradition is halted after Abu Hamza is charged in the UK with inciting murder and race hate over his speeches and jailed for seven years.

    His conviction means extradition will not go ahead until after he has served his sentence. Solicitor Mark Spragg (below) explains why charges were brought.

    Extradition lawyer Mark Spragg

    Report by Luisa Baldini, first broadcast 7 February 2006

  • Fight continues

    May 2007

    Extradition proceedings resume against Abu Hamza in London. The US government argues that the cleric was a member of a global conspiracy to wage jihad against the US and other Western countries. Abu Hamza's barrister argues that some of the evidence against his client was obtained by torture and so the application should fail.

    The extradition hearing goes ahead after the House of Lords refuses the cleric leave to appeal against his UK convictions, which would have delayed the proceedings even further. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith signs the extradition order in February 2008.

    Report by Daniel Sandford, first broadcast 15 November 2007

  • European Court

    July 2010

    Abu Hamza appeals to the European Court of Human Rights, which begins considering his case with other men facing extradition on terrorism charges.

    In July 2010, the court says it is satisfied the US will treat the men fairly, but as solicitor Mark Spragg (below) explains the case did not end there.

    Extradition lawyer Mark Spragg

    Report by Andy Tighe, first broadcast 8 July 2010

  • Appeal

    24 September 2012

    After considering more evidence about conditions at the Colorado "supermax" jail, the European Court rules that Abu Hamza and four other suspects can face trial in the United States.

    The men appeal to the Grand Chamber, but on 24 September 2012 the court's highest judges give their final approval for the extradition of Abu Hamza and four other terrorism suspects to the US. The Home Office says it will ensure the extraditions happen as quickly as possible. The men all argue they would face inhumane treatment in the US, but the court finds there would be no violation of their human rights.

    Report by Tom Symonds, first broadcast 24 September 2012

  • Extradition

    5 October 2012

    Abu Hamza fails in his last-ditch bid to halt his extradition to the US. Judges at the High Court say there can be no more appeals and said the extradition 'may proceed immediately'.

    Speaking in September the Lord Chief Justice expresses his 'fury' at the time the extradition has taken.

    Lord Chief Justice 27 September 2012

    Report by June Kelly. First broadcast 5 October 2012

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