Extradition of Abu Hamza al-Masri, accused of trying to open jihadist boot camp in Oregon, is huge win for the United States

Oct 6, 2012 Issues: Counterterrorism

Al-Masri and four other terror suspects headed stateside from United Kingdom

New York Daily News -- by Pete King

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Friday's ruling by a British court clearing extradition of Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other terrorist defendants represents a hard-won victory for the United States.

These people are not common criminals. They are war criminals. And they should be tried before a military court where they won’t have a forum to grandstand and spew hateful propaganda as other terrorists have done in civilian federal court.

Britain, however, would not release defendants that could be put to death or tried before a military commission so we had a choice: try them in federal court and seek life prison terms, or risk their release overseas to incite and carry out further acts of terror. It’s an easy call.

Al-Masri and his fellow defendants will have a much tougher time playing the U.S. criminal justice system, and I’m confident they are headed to a prison for a long, long time.

King (R-L.I.) is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security .