Abu Hamza al-Masri (Arabic: أبو حمزة المصري, Abū Ḥamzah al-Maṣrī) (born 15 April 1958) is a former night club bouncer and Egyptian Sunni activist known for his preaching of a violent and politicised interpretation of Islam, also known as militant Islamism or jihadism. He is currently in prison in the United Kingdom.
Abu Hamza al-Masri was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1958. He is the son of a middle class army officer. In 1979, he entered the UK on a student visa. Masri's initial reaction to life in Britain was to describe it as "a paradise, where you could do anything you wanted.". He studied civil engineering at Brighton Polytechnic.
On 16 May 1980, he married Valerie Traverso (now Fleming), a Catholic convert to Islam, and had a son, Mohammed Mustafa Kamel whom Masri later separated from his mother when he was just four-years-old. She did not see him again for 12 years. He acquired British citizenship following three years of marriage and acquired a job as a bouncer for a peep show in Soho, London. In 1984, he divorced his wife. Supporters suggest that this occurred because he found out she had failed to divorce her previous husband until 1982. However, his former wife has blamed the divorce on Masri having an affair with a prostitute.