Abu Hamza guilty: Hate cleric convicted of terror charges in New York

Hate cleric Hamza found guilty of 11 terror charges
Convicted: Hate preacher Abu Hamza (Picture: File)

Hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza is tonight facing life in prison after he was found guilty of terrorism charges in New York.

The radical Muslim preacher, who was extradited from Britain to the US in 2012 after an eight-year legal battle, denied all 11 charges.

The verdicts came after a four-week trial in which prosecutors presented speeches and taped interviews to show that the 56-year-old conspired to aid terrorist organisations, including al-Qaeda.

He looked straight ahead as the verdict was read out in Manhattan.

US attorney general Eric Holder described the judgment as ‘a triumph’, while district attorney Preet Bharara added: ‘The defendant stands convicted, not for what he said, but for what he did.

‘Abu Hamza was not just a preacher of faith but a trainer of terrorists.’

In the 1990s he led the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, which was reportedly attended by both September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid.

Hamza denied ever meeting them.

The Egyptian was accused of providing support to terrorist groups by enabling kidnappers of 16 tourists in Yemen in 1998 to speak on a satellite phone.

He was also said to have tried to build an al-Qaeda training camp in Oregon in 1999.

Jurors saw footage of Hamza telling his followers that non-Muslims could be treated like animals and women and children who were non-believers could be taken captive.

His legal team last night indicated they intend to appeal, with lawyer Joshua Dratel saying the verdict was ‘not about the evidence but about a visceral reaction to the defendant’.

He added: ‘It’s unfortunate that’s what happened and it’s what we feared.’

Hamza was extradited after being jailed for seven years in Britain for inciting murder and race hate.

The court heard before he became known as a preacher he had worked at a Soho strip club when he arrived in London from Egypt.

19 May 2014 | 10:19 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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