The case of Haroon Aswat

Haroon Rashid Aswat is from Dewsbury, Yorkshire. He is a British citizen of Indian origin.

In July 2005, Aswat was arrested under immigration laws in Zambia, after entering the country from Zimbabwe. He was deported to Britian in August 2005 and arrested under an extradition warrant from the USA

Charges against Haroon Aswat had first been filed in a US court in June 2005. According to these charges, Aswat was associated with a Muslim preacher, who was not named in the charge, in the plan to set up the training camp in the northwestern US state which was to prepare volunteers to fight in Afghanistan.

According to media reports, Haroon Aswat was under surveillance in South Africa before being arrested in Zambia. The US authorities are said to have wanted to arrest him for questioning. The South Africans are reported to have relayed the request to British authorities who were reluctant to agree to him being seized because of his status as a British citizen. The US, it is said, wanted to take control of Aswat using an "extraordinary rendition" process, which would bypass the normal extradition process and may have resulted in him being flown to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba or a country that allows torture.

Following Haroon Aswat's arrest in Zambia, reports appeared in the British media linkng him to the 7/7 London bombings on the basis of evidence said to have been obtained from the damaged mobile phones of the presumed bombers showing that calls had been made to them from Aswat's mobile phone in the days prior to the bombings.

  • US files 'terrorist' charge against Briton Haroon Rashid Aswat - Forbes.com, 8 August 2005
  • Tangled web that still leaves worrying loose ends - The Sunday Times, 31 July 2005