LONDON — An Algerian man with alleged links to Osama bin Laden should be extradited to the U.S. to face trial on charges that he masterminded a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport, a judge ruled Friday.
In August, a federal grand jury in New York indicted Amar Makhlulif, 37, also known as Abu Doha, and prosecutors described him as a key figure in Bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorism network.
U.S. prosecutors allege that he developed a plan to bomb LAX during celebrations to usher in the year 2000 and helped send would-be terrorists to training camps in Afghanistan.
The extradition ruling can be appealed, and Makhlulif's defense team was considering the possibility. The final decision on extradition lies with Home Secretary David Blunkett.
The bomb plot was foiled in December 1999, when police arrested an alleged co-conspirator, Ahmed Ressam, while he was trying to enter Washington state from Canada in a car loaded with explosives.
Ressam was convicted last year on nine charges, including smuggling and terrorist conspiracy, and could face a life prison term.
In hope of reducing his sentence, Ressam is testifying against others.