Radical British cleric appears in U.S. federal court

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, October 6, 2012 19:05 EDT
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Radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other men appeared in a U.S. federal court in New York Saturday, hours after being extradited from the United Kingdom.

According to ABC News, Hamza, a British national who was initially arrested in 2004, will be arraigned Tuesday.

NBC News reported that Hamza was indicted under the name “Mustafa Kamel Mustafa,” and entered no plea.

Hamza is accused of using his position at a London mosque as a “honeypot for extremists,” including “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and convicted 9-11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. If convicted, Reuters reported, Hamza could be sentenced to life in prison.

Hamza is also charged with trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999, a year after he allegedly took part in the kidnapping of 16 people, including two U.S. nationals. He is also accused of providing support to al Qaeda.

The 54-year-old’s attorney, Sabrina Shroff, requested the return of the prosthetic hooks Hamza wears after losing both hands. Hamza appeared without them in court.

Also indicted Saturday were Egyptian Adel Abdel Bary, 52 and Saudi Khaled al Fawwaz, 50, who are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of conspiring to kill Americans. Two other men, Syed Talha Ahsan, 33, and Babar Ahmad, 38, appeared in a federal court in Connecticut and pled not guilty on Saturday to charges of fundraising online for terrorist activities.

Video on Saturday’s proceedings by Reuters can be seen below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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