PM’s pledge to speed up extraditions after Abu Hamza verdict

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PRIME Minister David Cameron has pledged to “take more steps” to speed up the deportation process for people who pose a threat to Britain following the conviction in the United States of radical cleric Abu Hamza on terrorism charges.

The north London preacher, who was tried under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, could face life in prison after a federal court in New York found him guilty of supporting terrorist organisations, including aiding the taking of hostages in Yemen and seeking to set up an al-Qaida training camp in the US.

Mr Cameron said it was “good that he has faced justice” and insisted he would take action to speed up the extradition process if the Conservatives remain in government next year.

Egyptian-born Hamza led the Finsbury Park Mosque in the 1990s, reportedly attended by both September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid, though the cleric denied ever having met them. He later spread violent messages there following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The preacher, 56, was jailed in the UK for seven years for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred in 2006 and first faced an extradition request from the Americans in 2004.

After a protracted legal battle he was extradited to the US in October 2012.

He will be sentenced on September 8, three days before the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.