Published on: Sunday, 7 August 2005
Zambia deports Wahabi mullah
Zambia extradited a British Wahabi mullah suspected of being involved in terrorism to Britain, Zambian officials said Sunday.
Haroon Rashid Aswad, 30, of West Yorkshire, is wanted by the United States for his suspected involvement in a 1999 plot to set up an al-Qaeda training camp in Bly, Oregon.
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa told a news conference: "We have discussed with the governments of the U.S. and Britain and we have finally agreed that Mr. Aswad must be deported to Britain because that is his country."
Zambian Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Peter Mumba told Reuters: "Aswad has been deported to Britain. He was put on the plane at 9 am this morning."
There have also been suggestions that Aswad was the mastermind behind the July 7 suicide bombings in London which killed 52 people.
Zambian police said Aswad was arrested on July 20 in Lusaka, having entered the country on July 6.
According to Sky News, there have been reports that in the run-up to the July 7 attacks the bombers made around 20 calls to Aswad's mobile phone.
But counter-terrorism officials have dismissed reports Aswad was wanted for questioning over the London bombings.