Extradited Al-Qaeda kidnapper arrives in Bamako: sources

17th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Malian convicted of kidnapping three Spaniards in Mauritania last year and handing them to Al-Qaeda has arrived in Bamako after being extradited back to his home country, sources said Tuesday.

Omar Sid'Ahmed Ould Hamma, sentenced in Mauritania in July to 12 years in prison with hard labour for the kidnappings "was extradited to Bamako on Monday night" an airport source told AFP in Bamako.

"He was on board a regular flight and was not handcuffed. Malian security forces came to retrieve him upon his descent" from the aircraft.

The arrival of Hamma, nicknamed "Omar the Sahrawi" in Bamako, was confirmed by a security source in Mali and a police source in Mauritania.

On Monday, a senior judicial source told AFP the Mauritanian government had "accepted to render him to Mali because we cannot refuse anything to our Malian brothers, with whom we have excellent relations."

He said the extradition was consistent with "judicial agreements linking our two countries since 1963."

Hamma was convicted of acting as a mercenary for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), kidnapping the three Spaniards on November 29, 2009 while they were delivering aid on behalf of Barcelona-based group Accio Solidaria.

The hostages were later transferred to Mali.

The North African branch of Osama bin Laden's terror network released 39-year-old Alicia Gamez in March but still holds Roque Pascual, 50, and Albert Vilaltam, 35, in northern Mali.

AQIM has made millions of dollars from ransoms for kidnapped Westerners and drug trafficking across the Sahel region of North Africa.

© 2010 AFP

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