Cleric Abu Hamza guilty of terrorism charges

Last updated 07:46 20/05/2014
Abu Hamza
GUILTY VERDICT: Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, known as Abu Hamza.
Mary Quin
MARY QUIN: Confronted Abu Hamza outside his London mosque, where she recorded the conversation.

Guilty verdict for Abu Hamza

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A New York court has convicted London imam Abu Hamza al-Masri of terrorism charges following a four-week trial that shined a spotlight on the preacher's controversial anti-Western statements.

A jury of eight men and four women found Abu Hamza, 56, guilty on all 11 counts he faced. The defendant could face life in prison.

Prosecutors had charged the one-eyed, handless Abu Hamza with providing a satellite phone and advice to a group of Yemeni militants who kidnapped Western tourists in 1998. Four of the hostages were killed during a rescue mission by the Yemeni military.

The trial heard evidence from New Zealander Mary Quin, who was one of the tourists taken hostage.

Quin, a dual American-New Zealand citizen, born and raised in Palmerston North, was at the time of the kidnapping an executive with Xerox. She described how she later confronted Abu Hamza at a north London mosque for a book she wrote about her ordeal.

Abu Hamza, who was indicted in the United States in 2004 under his birth name, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, also was accused of dispatching two followers to Oregon to establish a militant training facility and sending an associate to Afghanistan to help al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Lawyers for Abu Hamza argued that he did not participate in any conspiracy.

They said the government's case rested largely on the incendiary language he employed in media interviews and the sermons he gave at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, which earned him notoriety as one of Britain's most prominent radical Islamic voices. 

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- Reuters

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