Al-Masri is being trialed [Archives:2006/912/Local News]

January 16 2006

LONDON, Jan. 11 ) Mustafa Kamel who is also known as Abu Hamza Al-Masri 49, is currently being tried at London's Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey). Abu Hamza faces 15 criminal charges, including encouraging murder at public meetings and using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior'' with the intent to stir up racial hatred. The prosecutor David Perry claimed that Al-Masri has a 10-volume “terrorist manual'' and the “Encyclopedia of the Afghani Jihad'', which contain detailed instructions on how to construct explosives and carry out assassinations. Soliciting murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison in Britain, while `”using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior'' carries a maximum seven-year term. The cleric denies the charges.

The Egyptian-born cleric, who is a former preacher at the Finsbury Park mosque in the north of London, was questioned by Scotland Yard, in 1999, detectives on suspicion of terrorism offences in Yemen which accused him of providing support and resources for a terrorist group, called ( Abeen- Aden Army) that took 16 tourists hostage in the Yemen, in 1998. He is said to have spoken to the terrorists before and after the incident. Three British tourists and one Australian were killed when they were used as human shields during a shoot-out with Yemen rescuers, it is claimed. Therefore Yemeni authorities had requested his arrest and extradition. However he was held for several days before being released without charge. He has always maintained his innocence.

In 1999, his son Mohammed Mustafa Kamel was sentenced to three years in prison in Yemen for his involvement in a terrorist bombing campaign when aged 17. He returned to Britain in 2002 after completing his sentence.