New York: Jurors in the New York trial of British hate preacher Abu Hamza on Monday found him guilty of kidnapping and terrorism offenses.
The former imam of the north London Finsbury Park mosque, real name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, showed no reaction to the verdict, which carries a possible life sentence. He is to be sentenced September 9.
The charges against him pre-dated the 9/11 attacks on New York and were over the 1998 abduction of 16 Western tourists in Yemen, four of whom were killed in a military rescue operation.
He was also accused of trying to set up a terrorist training camp in the United States in 1999, and of promoting “violent jihad” on a global scale.
The jury deliberated for 12 hours over two days before reaching a verdict, after a four-week trial in which Abu Hamza took the stand for three days of testimony in his own defense.
Blind in one eye and with no hands after an accidental explosion in Pakistan, the 56-year-old had denied all the charges, though he acknowledged he occasionally used strong words in his sermons and fiery speeches – numerous extracts of which were played for the jury.
He admitted supplying a satellite to the militant group that kidnapped the Western tourists in Yemen, but said he was only told of the abduction after the fact.