Yorkshire-born Abu Hamza follower pleads guilty in New York
A paranoid schizophrenic has pleaded guilty in a New York court to plotting to set up a terrorist training camp in the US.
Haroon Rashid Aswat, who was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, admitted charges of supporting terrorism and conspiracy and faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.
He pleaded to one count of conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda, and one count of providing material support to Al Qaeda.
Assistant Attorney General Carlin said: “With this guilty plea, Haroon Aswat is being held accountable for his provision of material support to Al Qaeda and his role in a plot to establish a terrorist training camp on American soil.
“Aswat was arrested almost 10 years ago, and his guilty plea is a testament to our determination to bring to justice all those who wish to harm the United States, whether at home or abroad, no matter how long it takes.”
Aswat was arrested in 2005 where a long extradition battle ended with him being sent to the US in October last year.
In 2008, Aswat had been transferred to Broadmoor Hospital suffering with paranoid schizophrenia.
He fought extradition for several years, with the European Court of Human Rights ruling in September 2013 that he could not be extradited as his mental health could deteriorate.
However, in September 2014 two High Court judges said they were satisfied he would receive satisfactory care in the US.
In court, prosecutors accused Aswat of conspiring with radical cleric Abu Hamza to set up a training camp to train extremists to fight in Afghanistan.
Prosecutors also said Aswat’s name was in a ledger recovered by FBI agents from a safe house in Pakistan, used by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, which listed people associated with Al Qaeda.