A European court ruled today that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, including allegedly trying to set up an al-Qaeda training camp in rural Oregon. The decision ends a long-running legal battle and means that al-Masri, considered one of Britain's most notorious extremists, could be deported within weeks along with four other terrorism suspects in Britain.
Al-Masri and the others had argued before the European Court of Human Rights that they could face prison conditions and jail terms in the US that would expose them to "torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" in breach of the European human rights code. In April, the Strasbourg, France-based court rejected those claims. Al-Masri and the four others lodged an appeal, but today the court said it refused to hear it. "Today the Grand Chamber Panel decided to reject the request," the court said in a brief statement. It did not give a reason for refusing the appeal.