A radical Muslim cleric arrested in London today is accused in a US indictment of trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon while providing aid to both al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Abu Hamza al-Masri, also known as Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, is also charged in the 11-count indictment with hostage-taking and conspiracy in connection with a December 1998 incident that left four tourists dead in Yemen.
The indictment said Mustafa acted as an intermediary with terrorists who took 16 tourists hostage in Yemen six years ago, and spoke with the terrorists before and after the incident.
Three British tourists and one Australian visitor were killed when Yemen rescuers were involved in a shoot-out with the Islamic extremist captors.
“Those who support our terrorist enemies anywhere in the world must know that we will not rest until the threat they pose is eradicated,” US Attorney General John Ashcroft said in New York where he announced details of the charges.
Officers detained the suspect in an early morning raid on his west London home, which was later searched by anti-terrorist police.
Ashcroft said US authorities were seeking Hamza’s extradition.
According to the indictment, Mustafa tried to establish the terrorist camp in Bly in the north-western state of Oregon between October 1999 and early 2000. He was also charged with specifically providing material support to al-Qaida and the Taliban to foment jihad, or holy war, in Afghanistan.