Suspected terrorist held in London after US request

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The Independent Online

A 30-year-old man wanted by US authorities in connection with the alleged funding of terrorism in Chechnya and Afghanistan was arrested by officers in London yesterday.

A 30-year-old man wanted by US authorities in connection with the alleged funding of terrorism in Chechnya and Afghanistan was arrested by officers in London yesterday.

Babar Ahmad, of Tooting, south-west London, was arrested about 4pm after a request by the Americans for his extradition. The warrant issued on behalf of the US authorities alleges Ahmad used websites and e-mail based in the US between 1998 and February 19, 2001, to supply money and property for "acts of terrorism" in the two countries. It also alleged Ahmad solicited US citizens via e-mail and websites to become "fund-raisers" for acts of terror.

These acts involved, "serious violence against a person or serious damage to property or murder for the purpose of advancing a political or religious or ideological cause," the warrant alleged. The "action was designed to influence the government or intimidate a section of the public... within Chechnya or Afghanistan".

Scotland Yard said officers were searching "three residential premises and one office premises in south-west London". Ahmad is due to appear at Bow Street Magistrates Court today.

Massoud Shadjareh, the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said Ahmad was arrested in December and held for six days before being released without charge. Afterwards, he made a complaint of police abuse in custody.