October 5 marked the first anniversary of the extradition of the British Muslim duo Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad to the United States to face charges relating to their alleged support of “terrorists” in Afghanistan and Chechnya.
The pair are accused of running the Azzam.com website, which carried news and reports from the battlefields of Bosnia, Chechnya and later Afghanistan, as a fundraising and recruiting vehicle for extremists. Both men have pleaded not guilty in the US to the charges against them.
The disturbing circumstances surrounding their arrest, detention and extradition are well-known: Both men were indicted on the basis that one of the servers used by the offending website was located in Connecticut, allowing US prosecutors to claim that an offence had been committed on US soil. Ahmad was violently beaten by police during his arrest and in 2009 won £60,000 in compensation after London’s Metropolitan Police admitted subjecting him to a “serious, gratuitous, and prolonged attack”. Indeed Ahmad, who was held in detention for eight years in the UK, holds the dubious distinction of having been held without trial longer than any other British citizen in modern history. Continue reading here.