Imam of London mosque convicted of terror charges in New York City

A London imam has been found guilty of aiding the terrorists who took 16 British and U.S. tourists hostage in Yemen 16 years ago.
By Frances Burns  |  May 19, 2014 at 5:03 PM
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NEW YORK, May 19 (UPI) -- The imam of a London mosque faces life in a U.S. prison after being convicted Monday in New York on federal terrorism charges.

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, who is also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, was convicted of aiding a group that took 16 U.S. and British tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998 and of recruiting young men for terrorist training camps. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

Four people were killed in the 1998 attack in Yemen and others seriously injured. Mustafa was indicted in New York in 2004 but proceedings were delayed by a lengthy legal fight over his extradition from Britain and by his conviction and seven-year sentence on hate speech charges.

Mustafa, 56, the son of an Egyptian army officer, originally came to Britain as a student and embraced life there. But he later turned to a radical form of Islam and became known as a fiery preacher at a mosque in London's Finsbury Park neighborhood.

Mustafa lost an eye and both hands, injuries he said were caused by a bomb while he was fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan, although his version is disputed.

During his four-week trial, the witnesses included Mary Quin, who survived the Yemen attack. Jurors heard a recorded conversation she had with Mustafa at the Finsbury Park mosque that that Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Patrick McGinley called "a confession to the crime."

Another witness, Margaret Thompson, was shot in the leg. A rod had to be inserted into her leg because the bullet shattered her femur.

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