Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan admit supporting terrorism in US court hearing

Wandsworth Guardian: Babar Ahmad Babar Ahmad

A man who fought eight years against extradition to the US has admitted supporting terrorists.

Babar Ahmad, 39, of Tooting, admitted conspiracy and providing material to support terrorism during a plea agreement hearing in New Haven, Connecticut, on Wednesday.

He did not change two separate pleas of not guilty of conspiracy to kill and money laundering.

A second man from Tooting, Syed Talha Ahsan, also admitted aiding terrorists by helping Ahmad.

Both men were extradited to the US in October last year following a lengthy battle for trial in the UK.

Ahmad is accused of being involved with terror websites and fought a lengthy eight year battle against extradition.

The campaign led to more than 100,000 signing an official government e-petition in an attempt to get a debate in Parliament.

US authorities claim the pair recruited men to travel to Afghanistan for mujahedeen training and sought out gas masks to send overseas.

They claim he launched Azzam publications in the 1990s as possibly the first website promoting jihadist in English.

The original site was shut down within weeks of 9/11, but content returned a short time after on a new or related website.

Ahmad was originally arrested at his Tooting home in December 2003 under anti-terror legislation before being released six days later without charge.

He was re-arrested in August 2004 and imprisoned prior to the US Government's extradition request under the controversial Extradition Act 2003.

District Judge Janet Hall said she would review his admissions before sentencing on March 4, 2014 which means he faces a reduced sentence of 25 years.

Ahsan, who also suffers from aspergers syndrome, faces a sentence of 15 years.


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