STRASBOURG - One of Britain's most notorious Islamist clerics has appealed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights allowing London to extradite him to the United States, slowing down US efforts to prosecute him for terrorism.

The appeal filed by lawyers for Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other suspects late on Monday will delay attempts to put the Egyptian-born cleric on trial on charges he supported al-Qaida and aided a fatal kidnapping in Yemen.

A panel of five judges could decide within a few weeks on the merit of the appeal, judicial sources said.

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