London Hate Cleric Hamza Sentenced To Life Imprisonment in U.S.

Hate preacher Abu Hamza has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a judge in America after being found guilty of 11 charges of terrorism and kidnapping.

The former Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, who was extradited to the US to face trial, was told by a judge that the world could not be a safe place if he were ever released, the Telegraph reports.

Katherine Forrest passed sentence in a Manhattan Court, only hundreds of yards from where the twin towers once stood, giving him two life sentences and 100 years for nine other counts of terror with no chance of parole.

The British hate cleric, who was born in Egypt, tried to avoid such a harsh sentence by submitting two DVDs of his tearful daughters. Both he and his defence counsel also argued that because of his disabilities, including being blind in one eye, having both forearms amputated as well as a skin condition and high blood pressure, that he should be sent to a medical facility instead.

But the judge pointed out that he had shown no remorse and said she was convinced that the 56 year old, who lost his arms in an explosion in Afghanistan fighting with the Taliban against the Soviets in the 1980s, would continue to inspire followers in acts of violence against non Muslims.

She read of 13 excerpts of his calls to young, impressionable Muslims to take up arms, before saying his behaviour was “unacceptable in a civilised society.”

“It is barbaric, it is wrong,” she said. “The sheer point of your crimes is the killing of others, and the destruction of a way of life, our way of life.”

But Hamza tried to portray himself as a harmless preacher not a man who encouraged others to kill. He even tried to claim that his links to militants were part of a ‘peace initiative’ to reach out to violent extremists.

But the prosecution insisted he was a firebrand preacher who turned  Finsbury Park Mosque into a “base of operations for the global export of violence and terror”.

The sentence came on the same day as the deaths of three men involved in the massacres in Paris who have all been linked to the North London Mosque. British police are now investigating his links to Cherif Kouachi, who met al-Qaeda activist Djamel Beghal who allegedly recruited the “20th hijacker” in the 9/11 attacks.

Hamza received two life sentences for his role in kidnapping two tourists in Yemen in 1998, in an operation which led to the deaths of four hostages: Britons Margaret Whitehouse, Ruth Williamson, Oeter Rowe and Australian Andrew Thirsk.

He was also 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.

His son Kamal, then 17 years old, and step son Mohsin Ghalain were also arrested in 1999 in Yemen for plotting to carry out a terrorist bomb campaign which the prosecution allege Hamza had orchestrated.

His sentencing not only provides closure for the families of his victims but ends the diplomatic wrangling between the UK and the US over his extradition.


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