Mentally ill Briton accused over extremist camp extradited to United States

LONDON (AFP) - A mentally ill man suspected of conspiring to establish an extremist training camp in the United States was deported to the US Tuesday, British police said.

British citizen Haroon Aswat allegedly travelled to the US in 1999 intending to set up a training camp in the remote hamlet of Bly, Oregon for militants who wanted to fight in Afghanistan.

He is alleged to have conspired with hardline Islamist cleric Abu Hamza, who was convicted in the US earlier this year on 11 kidnapping and terrorism charges.

The move came despite 40-year-old Aswat's diagnosis with paranoid schizophrenia. He has been held in a psychiatric hospital since 2008.

"Earlier today, Aswat was taken from Broadmoor Hospital to a UK airport accompanied by extradition officers," a statement from Scotland Yard said.

"Officers were met at the airport by representatives from the US authorities who have escorted him on the flight to America."

London's High Court gave the go-ahead for the extradition last month after judges said they were satisfied with assurances from US authorities about how Aswat would be treated in custody.

Last year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held that Aswat's extradition would breach an article prohibiting inhuman and degrading treatment.

Hamza, the former firebrand imam of Finsbury Park mosque in north London, was extradited from Britain in 2012 following an eight-year process delayed by appeals to the ECHR.

He was convicted by a New York court in May on 11 kidnapping and terrorism charges.

The charges related to the 1998 abduction of 16 Western tourists in Yemen, providing material support to Al-Qaeda, assisting the Taleban and sending terror recruits to Afghanistan.

Four of the kidnapped tourists were killed.

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