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UK cleric had al Qaida links

Seattle, June 26 (Reuters): A radical Muslim cleric in London who applauded the September 11 attacks had been in communication with top al Qaida officials since before the attack, according to US government documents released this week.

Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was banned by the British government from preaching at his London mosque and whose British citizenship has been revoked, has previously denied any links to Osama bin Ladenís al Qaida network.

The Egyptian-born Masri has said he admires al Qaida but denied he had any direct links.

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