Update^ back to top
Talha was extradited in October 2012. Since then he has been held in solitary confinement in a Supermax prison awaiting trial. However, after enduring these conditions for 14 months, he decided to plead guilty to one count of providing material support to ‘terrorists'- he again admitted assisting Babar to run websites that called for financial contribution to support the Taliban and the Muslims in the Chechen war. He was sentenced to time already served by the judge, so the 8 years he had already spent in prison would suffice. The judge recognised that the prosecutors were wrong in trying to associate Ahsan with al Qaida, confirming he had no knowledge of Osama Bin Laden nor of the terrorist atrocities masterminded by Bin Laden's terrorist group, and nor did he support them in any way. Talha was returned to the UK in August 2014.
For more details: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/16/the-terrorist-that-wasnt/
Background^ back to top
Talha Ahsan is a British citizen born in London in 1979. He was educated at Dulwich College before receiving first class honours in Arabic from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). In the week of his arrest he had job interviews to train as a librarian. He is a serious, bookish young man, very gentle, softly spoken and thoughtful. He is also a translator and keen poet and has received acclaim from novelist A.L. Kennedy amongst others.
Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home on 19 July 2006 in response to a request from the USA under the Extradition Act 2003 which does not require the presentation of any prima facie evidence. He is accused in the US of terrorism-related offences arising out of an alleged involvement over the period of 1997-2004 with a series of websites, one of which happened to be located on a server in America.
He has never been arrested or questioned by British police.
He was extradited on 5 October 2012.