Babar Ahmad has returned home from jail in the US. Babar was arrested and in the UK in August 2004 in response to a US extradition request. After a long legal battle - Babar wanted to be tried in Britain, not the US - he was finally extradited in October 2012, along with co-defendant Talha Ahsan. Under great pressure, he entered into a plea bargain with US prosecutors and was sentenced in July 2014.
Press Statement from Babar Ahmad's family
We, the family of Babar Ahmad, are delighted to announce that by the grace of God, Babar has returned home to us after 11 years in prison. Our lives will be enriched by his return.
Although the past 11 years have been indescribably difficult for us all, we were heartened by Judge Janet Hall's comments at Babar's sentencing this time last year. She said:
"There was never any aid given by these defendants to effectuate a plot. By plot, I mean a terrorist plot ... Neither of these two defendants were interested in what is commonly known as terrorism ... It appears to me that he [Babar] is a generous, thoughtful person who is funny and honest. He is well liked and humane and empathetic...This is a good person who does not and will not seek in the future to harm other people."
Today, we remember and thank all those who have supported us throughout. But for now, we kindly ask everyone to give us some privacy and space and not to contact us for the time being.
Babar has the following comment to make:
"11 years of solitary confinement and isolation in ten different prisons has been an experience too profound to sum up in a few words here and now. In October 2012, I was blindfolded, shackled and forcibly stripped naked when I was extradited to the US. Last week, US and UK government officials treated me with courtesy and respect during my journey home. "
"Today, I have absolutely nothing. Yet I am rich. All praise be to God."
"In time, I look forward to sharing reflections on my experience to help inform others. I recognise that the world has moved on since 2004, yet in some ways, sadly it has failed to progress. "
"For now, I intend to reconnect privately with my incredible family, to whom I owe so much. It was a great joy to celebrate Eid with them for the first time in 11 years and to hug three of my nieces and nephews whom I had never met before. It has been a long time."