Four years ago today I was sitting handcuffed in this police van as it was leaving HM Prison Long Lartin (UK) to extradite me to the United States.
Earlier that day the authorities had refused me one last visit with my mother, sister and baby niece. They drove home in tears.
It rained torrentially throughout the journey to Royal Air Force base RAF Mildenhall, where blindfolds, ear muffs and shackles were put on me before I was put on a private jet to the US.
I had fought day and night for eight long years not to be extradited to the US.
A few hours before I sat in this police van, angry British judges sitting in the Royal Courts of Injustice had ruled that I, a suspected terrorist, had taken “every opportunity” to prevent my extradition to the US.
After the ruling, my dad read a statement to the press outside the High Court in London in which he said that he was appalled that the British legal system had let him down “in a manner more befitting of a Third World country than one of the world’s oldest democracies.”
“We will never abandon our struggle for justice for Babar and the truth will eventually emerge of what will be forever remembered as a shameful chapter in the history of Britain,” he added.
Two years after arriving in the US, I stood before US Judge Janet Hall, a just judge – unlike the angry British judges who ordered my extradition to the US.
She ruled that I was not a terrorist and that I was “never interested in terrorism.”
It turned out that being extradited to the US was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I didn’t know the future but Allah certainly knew the future:
“It may be that you hate something that is good for you, or you love something that is bad for you. But Allah (God) knows and you do not know.” [Quran 2:216]
So, just like my dad said four years ago today, the “truth” eventually did emerge. Like it always does.
Read my whole story in the interview I gave to The Guardian newspaper after my release from the US.
Here is a video of the statement that my dad read to the press outside court four years ago today.
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