Hook-handed Egyptian cleric Abu Hamza was sentenced to life behind bars in a Manhattan courtroom today.
The cleric, whose birth name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, was sentenced for his participation in a hostage-taking in Yemen in 1998 that resulted in four deaths, a conspiracy to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., in 1999, and sending a follower to train and fight with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2000, according to the Justice Department.
Abu Hamza was extradited from the UK in 2012 and convicted this past May after a four-week-long jury trial.
A former nightclub bouncer, he rose to prominence as one of the most radical Islamist preachers in Britain. He lost both his hands and an eye in the Af-Pak region in the late ’80s.
“Abu Hamza is an unrepentant all-purpose terrorist,” said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin in a statement. “With today’s sentence, he is being held accountable for the many ways in which he supported terrorism and other terrorists through much of his life, including his role in a hostage-taking in Yemen, his plot to create a terrorist training camp on U.S. soil, and his facilitation of violent jihad in Afghanistan.”
“This case was charged over ten years ago and was tried after years of extradition proceedings—and is but one example of our resolve to pursue those who threaten the United States and our interests anywhere in the world, no matter how long it takes,” Carlin added.
“Everybody was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center,” Abu Hamza said after 9/11.