NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, a one-eyed radical Muslim cleric also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, was sentenced Friday to life in U.S. prison for his involvement in terrorist activities.
Abu Hamza was convicted on federal terrorism charges in New York in May 2014 for his role in aiding a group that took 16 U.S. and British tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998, four of whom were killed, and for recruiting young men into terrorist training camps.
The U.S. Department of Justice applauded the sentencing decision.
"Abu Hamza is an unrepentant all-purpose terrorist," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said. "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 violence jihad in Afghanistan."
Friday's sentencing comes more than 10 years after his indictment in a New York court. Proceedings were delayed because of a lengthy legal fight over his extradition from Britain, where he was serving a seven-year sentence after being found guilty of several charges, including inciting hate at his North London mosque during Friday prayers.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest described Abu Hamza's crimes as "barbaric" and "misguided" in her sentencing announcement Friday.
It is unclear where Abu Hamza will serve his life sentence. His attorneys claimed any plan to send him to Colorado's Supermax federal prison would violate an assurance made during his extradition, but prosecutors contend that no such promise was made by the U.S. government.
The judge said Friday that federal prison officials would be responsible for determining where Abu Hamza is incarcerated.