Two Britons freed [Archives:2004/729/Front Page]

April 15 2004

Two British Muslims convicted five years ago on charges of terrorism and plotting sabotage in Aden have been released, according to official sources. They were granted release two years before completing their seven-year terms.
The two, Malik Nassir Harhara, 30, and Mouhsin Ghailan, 23, have already flown to London upon their release from a prison in Aden.
The two Britons, along with six others from other Muslim nations, were convicted in August 1999 of attempting to attack Western targets and of forming armed gangs. Three of the remaining six were sentenced to jail terms of between three and seven years. The three others were sentenced to time served and released in September 1999.
Yemeni officials said the early release of Harhara and Ghailan was aimed at improving bilateral relations, which were strained following the arrests.
The Yemeni government suspects that London-based Islamic cleric Abu-Hamza Al-Masri, also known as Mustafa Kamil, was the one who sent those Brits to commit acts of violence in Yemen. Abu Hamza has been an ongoing concern of the Yemeni government, and repeated requests for his extradition have been made to the British government. All such requests have all been declined.
The suspicions of the Yemeni government are strengthened by the known kinship links between the group of 8 and Abu Hamza. Ghailan is known to be a stepson of Abu Hamza and a further member of the gang, Mohammed Mustafa Kamil, is a son of Abu Hamza. He was released in January last year.