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Abu Hamza Sentenced to Life in Prison

Abu Hamza was convicted in Manhattan of helping kidnappers who killed four people in a 1998 attack in Yemen, among other crimes.

A hook-handed radical London preacher found guilty of helping al Qaeda train terrorists was sentenced Friday to life in prison, completing a "blood-soaked journey from cleric to convict," a federal prosecutor said. After a four-week trial in the spring, a Manhattan jury found Abu Hamza guilty of assisting a 1998 attack in Yemen that killed four people, creating a training camp in Oregon, and funneling fighters to Afghanistan.

"After years of fighting extradition, Abu Hamza finally faced justice, as all those who engage in terrorism against innocent civilians must, here in the U.S. and all around the globe, as the terrible events in Paris remind us," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. Judge Katherine Forrest said his acts were "barbaric, misguided and wrong."

Hamza, who lost his hands and an eye fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, has been given a special new prosthetic that includes a spork attachment to make it easier for him to eat jailhouse food, according to court documents filed this week.

The cleric, whose given name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, was charged more than a decade ago but wasn't extradited to the United States until 2012. During the trial, his lawyer told jurors that while his 56-year-old client has "said a lot of harsh things," he did commit any crimes and had not hurt any Americans.


— Tracy Connor