Babar Ahmad: Theresa May gloated at my suffering

Prime Mnister Theresa May

Former detainee Babar Ahmad has slammed the new Prime Minister Theresa May for extraditing him to the US and “publicly gloating” about it.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday Ahmed, who was released a year ago after 11 years in custody (10 years of which was without charge or trial)  said that May had laughed at his suffering and that of his family.

He said: “When I was extradited in blindfolds and shackles to the United States in October 2012, my family was devastated. People were visiting my parents as if there had been a death in the family.

“Theresa May, the new prime minister of Britain, was then the Home Secretary. She was also my Home Secretary and that of my family. My taxpaying family were paying her salary to stand up for me. Instead, Theresa May fought to extradite me to the US then publicly gloated after I was extradited.

“Four days after my extradition, Theresa May spoke at the Conservative Party conference on Tuesday 9 October 2012. To the jeers and applause of the audience, she began her speech with the words: ‘Wasn’t it great to say goodbye – at long last – to Abu Hamza and those four other terror suspects on Friday?’

Ahmad was held without charge or trial in the UK for nearly  10 years
Ahmad was held without charge or trial in the UK for nearly 10 years

“In other words, she found it quite amusing what I and my family were going through. It begs the question whether she ordered my extradition for personal reasons.

“So today I say to Theresa May: Given that it has been nearly four years since you made those childish remarks, I sure hope that you have matured enough to be fit for the office you now occupy.

“It is not befitting for a person who holds public office to make official decisions for personal reasons. Just like a good mother should be a mother to all her children – the good, the bad and the ugly – a good leader should be a leader to all of his or her subjects.”

Ahmad was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison by a US court in 2014 but was set free because of time already served.

The British computer expert had admitted supporting terrorism through the internet in an apparent plea bargain. He also admitted conspiracy and providing material to support the Taliban.

Ahmad was held without charge or trial in the UK for nearly 10 years. He and others ran an influential online operation propagating armed jihadist ideology from the late 1990s; their beliefs born on the battlefields of Bosnia, where Ahmad and others went to protect Muslim civilians from massacre.

His mistake, as he admitted, was to translate that into support for the Taliban as 9/11 approached.

Ahmad, who spent a decade fighting against conviction, was accused of being the mastermind behind the world’s first English website dedicated to jihad. He had thousands of supporters in the UK during his record eight-year battle against extradition.

You can follow his blog about his prison experiences at babarahmad.com.

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