Hate preacher found guilty of terrorism

Abu Hamza al-Masri replies to questions from his defence lawyer Joshua Dratel in Manhattan federal court in New York in this artist's sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
Abu Hamza al-Masri replies to questions from his defence lawyer Joshua Dratel in Manhattan federal court in New York in this artist's sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
London imam Abu Hamza al-Masri was convicted of terrorism charges in New York on Monday 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, handing Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara his second high-profile terrorism conviction in three months. The defendant could face life in prison.

In March, a different jury found Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, guilty of terrorism-related charges.

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.

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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