A New York jury convicted British hate preacher Abu Hamza on 11 kidnapping and terrorism charges Monday, opening the way for a judge to impose what will almost certainly be a life sentence.
A jury of eight men and four women found Abu Hamza, 56, guilty on all 11 counts he faced, handing Manhattan U.S. 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 Qaida 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.
Source: Reuters and agencies