Monday, August 01, 2005

Terror suspect resists extradition

Charged with international terrorism, the Shepherd’s Bush ‘bomber’ now awaits his extradition from Rome. But there will be much delay before he returns to the UK. His solicitor said he would fight his extradition vociferously. Hussain Osman was captured when Italian police moved in on his mobile phone signal after being informed by UK authorities he’d left the country. On Tuesday 26th he left for Rome from Waterloo Station in London. He travelled via Paris, Milan and Bologna before arriving in Rome on Friday 29th. He had apparently then gone to his brother’s flat which was raided by police later in the same day. Osman was sitting quietly on a sofa as they made their arrest. And the Italian authorities have indeed been forthcoming with many details of this high profile suspect. His solicitor has been allowed to see Hussain Osman and has also revealed much. He claims the four did not wish to hurt anyone in their failed attacks, and that the action was to make a protest over Iraq. The Ethiopian, who then took Somali citizenship in order to enter Britain easier, according to Channel 4 news, told judges on Friday that he and his three accomplices had viewed videos of Iraq, “especially those in which you saw women and children killed and exterminated by English and American soldiers”, he said. Reports were carried in many Italian newspapers and prosecutors are no doubt reeling as to how it may affect prosecutions in Britain of the several suspects held here. Osman said they had “no link with the Pakistanis”, a reference to the 7th July bombers, three of which were of Pakistani descent. If Osman’s claims turn out to be true, it would seem to indicate two unconnected cells were to blame for the London attacks. His intention “not to kill” may have been achieved, but the fear injected into the British psyche has been profound. Police patrol London’s streets and transport system with guns. Stop & Search, primarily targeted at ‘dark skinned, men of between 18 and 30’ is beginning to create tension. And racist murders and attacks are increasing. The figures are difficult to assess since it is difficult to make a direct connection or causal link to the attacks.
Of the suspects held in the UK little has been revealed of their status. Until Monday they will no have had access to a solicitor and no details have been released by British police. They have 14 days to bring charges.
[19:15 GMT 01/08/2005]

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