A court ruled Thursday that a suspected al-Qaida member can be extradited to the United States to be tried for allegedly plotting to set up a terrorist training camp in the state of Oregon. The ruling came after the U.S. government reassured the court that the British defendant, Haroon Rashid Aswat, 31, would be tried at a U.S. federal court, not a military tribunal, and that he would not be designated an "enemy combatant," a label the American government has used to detain suspected terrorists at military detention centers such as Guantanamo Bay.
"A trial could be properly and fairly conducted without a breach of the defendant's ... rights," Judge Timothy Workman said in his ruling at Bow Street magistrates court in London.
British Home Secretary Charles Clarke now has up to two months to approve the extradition. The defense had argued that Aswat should not be extradited to the United States because he would face an "overwhelming risk" of being held in solitary confinement without trial, cut off from his friends, family and attorneys. Aswat's lawyer immediately appealed, reports the AP. I.L.