“With credit for 11 years he has already spent in UK and US custody as well as good behaviour, Aswat could be freed in six years.” What will he do then? Become a loyal, hard-working citizen, no doubt.
“UK Jihadist Jailed Over Oregon Camp Plot,” by Jason Farrell, SKY News, October 16, 2015:
A British man linked to some of the most notorious members of al Qaeda’s network has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon.
Haroon Aswat, who has been treated for mental illness in the UK, had pleaded guilty to the charges in March after being extradited from Britain to the US last year.
US District Judge Katherine Forrest ordered the federal prisons bureau to provide the 41-year-old with specialised psychiatric care as part of his sentence.
With credit for 11 years he has already spent in UK and US custody as well as good behaviour, Aswat could be freed in six years.
His lawyer, Peter Quijano, said Aswat would seek to serve out his sentence in Britain, a request Forrest said she would support.
The case dates back to 1999 when, guided by London-based radical cleric Abu Hamza and working with another man, Ouassama Kassir, Aswat attempted to buy land in Oregon.
The plan was to build a camp where young Muslims could take “religious training” and prepare to fight in Afghanistan.
The group was helped by an American-born Muslim convert called James Ujaama, who would later give evidence against the others in a plea bargain that saw his own sentence reduced to two years in prison.
The evidence against Aswat first emerged in 2002 when US authorities recovered a ledger with his name on it at an al Qaeda safe house that had been used by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
By this time the Oregon project had failed and Aswat was in Pakistan where he would later meet the ringleader of the London 7/7 attacks, Mohammed Sidique Khan, and his accomplice Shehzad Tanweer.
Aswat was arrested in Zambia in 2005 and deported to Britain.
There followed a long extradition process to the US, during which Aswat was interned to Broadmoor Hospital in 2008 and treated for paranoid schizophrenia.
The European Court of Human Rights blocked his extradition on the basis of concerns over the conditions he would face in a US jail.
He was finally extradited in October 2014, following assurances as to how he would be treated in custody.
Aswat, a British citizen of Indian descent, was described by his lawyers as a gentle man who never condoned violence….
Of course. What else could he possibly be?