Swedish terror suspect extradited to United States

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]

A Swedish terror suspect has been extradited from the Czech Republic to the United States almost two years after his initial arrest.


Czech Justice Minister Jiri Pospisil authorized the move following an application from the United States for Oussama Kassir to be sent there to face trial.

"Oussama Kassir left Prague International Airport today at 7am," justice ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Kuncová told The Local.

A Czech court approved the extradition of Kassir, 41, back in April. His Czech lawyer appealed the decision, but an appeal court in Prague rejected the appeal, paving the way for him to be handed over to American custody.

"The Minister of Justice decided about the extradition of Oussama Kassir to the United States on the 18th of September 2007," said Kuncová, adding that the Swedish embassy had been informed of the move.

The Swedish foreign ministry said it had also received news of the extradition.

"We were informed today about the decision and that it was carried out," spokeswoman Anna Björkander told news agency TT.

Prague said it won assurances that the 40-year-old would be detained in a civilian jail and brought before a federal judge, not at the Guantanamo military base or before a military court.

The US embassy in Prague said Kassir would face charges that included

conspiring to provide material support and resources to the Al-Qaeda network.

Kassir, a Swedish citizen of Lebanese origin, is suspected of trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon in 1999 to offer weapons training for Muslims wanting to fight in Afghanistan.

Kassir had long been sought by US authorities but Stockholm refused to hand over the Swedish national.

He was arrested Prague Airport in December 2005, as he was transiting during a trip between Stockholm and Beirut.

As well as the conspiracy charges, Kassir is also accused of setting up an Internet site which gave instructions on how to produce chemicals or a bomb that could be used in a terrorist attack.

Both charges, which Kassir has denied throughout, carry life sentences in the United States.


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