TIME National Security

Islamist Cleric Abu Hamza Guilty on Terrorism Charges

Ian Waldie—Reuters Radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri addresses an annual rally for Islam in Trafalgar Square, London, on Aug. 25, 2002

The hook-handed hate preacher now faces life behind bars for role in an al-Qaeda kidnapping of American citizens in 1998

Radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was found guilty on 11 terrorism charges in a New York court on Monday.

A jury found the fundamentalist imam, who was tried as Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, guilty of conspiring to aid al-Qaeda in a Yemen kidnapping of American citizens in 1998 and of sending men to terrorist training camps. He now faces life in prison, the Associated Press reports.

The Egypt-born cleric was formerly based in London, where he became notorious for giving outdoor sermons condemning the West, and praising Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers. The mosque where he preached was also frequented by shoe bomber Richard Reid, though Abu Hamza claims he never met him.

Abu Hamza was extradited to the U.S. in 2012 after spending seven years in a British jail for inciting murder and racial hatred. He was nicknamed Hook by the British tabloids on account of his scarred appearance, having lost both hands and an eye while working on a civil-engineering project in Pakistan in 1993.


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