Abu Hamza de-arrested but still detained

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The Independent Online

The Muslim cleric Abu Hamza is no longer being questioned by UK authorities on alleged terror offences after being de-arrested today.

The Muslim cleric Abu Hamza is no longer being questioned by UK authorities on alleged terror offences after being de-arrested today.

But he remains detained at the high-security Belmarsh prison, where he has been since May following an extradition request from the United States.

Hamza was arrested at the prison in south-east London on Thursday under the Terrorism Act 2000 and taken to Paddington Green police station for questioning on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

The cleric faces 11 charges in the US where he is accused of playing a key role in Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida terror network.

The allegations also relate to a hostage-taking incident in the Yemen in 1988 in which three Britons were killed.

Hamza is also accused of trying to set up a terror training camp in the US state of Oregon and sending another radical Islamic fundamentalist to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

Detectives at Scotland Yard were understood to be probing allegations relating to the provision of support for terrorism, rather than involvement in any specific plot.

They were trying to find out if the cleric gave support to terrorists or terrorist organisations, either through recruitment, finance or logistics.

They were also looking at whether controversial sermons by the former imam of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London encouraged others to commit terrorist acts.

Police had said that their investigations were unrelated to the terrorism charges brought by the US government.

They said their probe was "part of separate, domestic inquiries" and that they have been monitoring Hamza's activities since long before his arrest on the extradition warrant.

The hook-handed cleric denies the 11 charges brought in the US and is fighting extradition to America.

The full extradition hearing is due to resume at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in central London on October 19.