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5 terrorism suspects extradited from UK to US

An ailing extremist Egyptian-born preacher and four other terrorism suspects arrived in the United States early Saturday under tight security to face trial after losing their lengthy extradition fight in England.

By John Christoffersen, Larry NeumeisterAssociated Press / October 6, 2012

This 2004 file photo shows Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, as he arrives with a masked bodyguard to conduct Friday prayers in the street outside the closed Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

Max Nash/AP

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NEW YORK

An ailing extremist Egyptian-born preacher and four other terrorism suspects arrived in the United States early Saturday under tight security to face trial after losing their lengthy extradition fight in England, authorities said.

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The preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri, was taken to a lockup next to the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan to face charges that he conspired with Seattle men to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and that he helped abduct 16 hostages, two of them American tourists, in Yemen in 1998.

The one-time nightclub bouncer will be housed there along with Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary, who will face trial on charges that they participated in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998. The attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. They were indicted in a case that also charged Osama bin Laden.

It was not immediately clear when al-Masri, al-Fawwaz and Bary would appear in court.

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In the 1990s, al-Masri turned London's Finsbury Park Mosque into a training ground for extremist Islamists, attracting men including Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.

Two other defendants, Syed Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad, pleaded not guilty in federal court in New Haven, Conn., on Saturday morning. They were jailed until trial, and their lawyers declined to comment after the arraignment.

Ahmad and Ahsan face charges that they ran websites that sought to raise cash, recruit fighters and seek equipment for terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya. Authorities say the websites included Azzam.com, which investigators say was used to recruit members for the al-Qaida network, Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime, and Chechen rebels.

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