Pakistan to extradite terror accused

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A BRITISH MUSLIM suspected of involvement in an alleged plot to blow up airlines over the Atlantic is expected to be deported to the UK.

Birmingham man Rashid Rauf was arrested in August 2006 in Pakistan in connection with an apparent al-Qaida-inspired plot to bomb passenger jets crossing the Atlantic.

UK authorities have been primarily seeking to extradite him in connection with the murder of his uncle, Mohammed Saeed, in April 2002 in Birmingham.

Rauf left the city shortly after the murder and settled in Bahawalpur, southern Punjab, where he was later arrested by Pakistani authorities after a tip-off from Britain over the alleged al-Qaida plot.

His lawyer Hashmat Habib revealed an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan ordered his release yesterday after the prosecution withdrew a case against him on domestic charges, not British terrorism charges in connection with the alleged transatlantic plot.

The Crown Prosecution Service, who requested Rauf’s extradition, said the process was “ongoing” and it had not been informed by lawyers that it had been approved.

A source at the CPS told the Guardian newspaper that once in the UK Rauf would be questioned by West Midlands Police about his uncle’s murder but could be questioned about “other matters” such as alleged terrorism.

Rauf’s arrest in Pakistan sparked a series of raids in the UK and the tightening of hand baggage restrictions on flights.

Fifteen people have been charged with terrorism offences in connection with the alleged plot.

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