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McKinnon just looking for 'little green men' claims Waite

Ex-hostage Terry Waite is the latest high-profile supporter for the stricken hacker, who is running out of chances to avoid US extradition.

British human rights campaigner and former hostage Terry Waite has urged the US to drop its charges against Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon.

According to reports, Waite - who was a hostage in Lebanon for four years - called McKinnon's motives "harmless" and said that "common sense" was needed. McKinnon could face up to 70 years in a US prison if he is found guilty.

Waite said that McKinnon's Asperger's Syndrome, which the CPS did not take into account when deciding not to prosecute him in the UK, gave him a reason for his irrational behaviour.

He even went as far as saying that the Pentagon should thank the hacker for exposing its computer system vulnerabilities.

He said to the BBC: "Was Gary a spy? Was he attempting to bring down the mighty military force of the USA? As far as I know he was not. He was simply looking for little green men."

McKinnon has been fighting since 2007 to block his extradition to the US. He has already admitted hacking US military and NASA computers, which the US government claims cost almost one million dollars in damages.

The hacker looks to have one legal avenue left to escape extradition to the US, with a judicial review of the government's decision to allow him to be sent to the US.

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