Jurors at the trial of radical Islamic cleric Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, who is also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, will be privy to comments the suspect made praising the 9/11 terrorists attacks, a judge ruled this week.
Mustafa is accused of trying to establish al Qaeda training camps in Oregon in the late 1990s and of aiding extremists who kidnapped a group of foreigners, including two American tourists, in Yemen in 1998.
According to an undated interview with a British television station, Mustafa stated: “Everybody was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center.” And according to U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest, who is presiding over the case, these comments can be presented as evidence in court.
“Expressing clear and unequivocal support for terrorism is no doubt prejudicial. However, the defendant is charged with just those sorts of crimes,” Judge Katherine B. Forrest said in a written decision earlier this week.
Jury selection for the case concludes on Monday, while opening statements for the trial are set to commence on Thursday morning.
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