Abu Hamza al-Masri

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Abu Hamza al-Masri bigraphy, stories - Egyptian-born British Islamist terrorist

Abu Hamza al-Masri : biography

15 April 1958 –

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (), also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri ( ), or simply Abu Hamza (born 15 April 1958), is an Egyptian-born convict and former imam, who has preached Islamic fundamentalism and militant Islamism, or jihadism. He was imprisoned in the United Kingdom in 2004 and was extradited to the United States on 5 October 2012 where he will face charges of supporting al-Qaeda, aiding a kidnapping in Yemen and plotting to open a training camp for militants in the United States. Lawless, Jill (5 October 2012). "Abu Hamza extradited to US after UK ruling". The Age. http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-technology/abu-hamza-extradited-to-us-after-uk-ruling-20121006-275sb.html. Retrieved 6 October 2012.

Imprisonment of sons

On 28 May 2009, three of Hamza’s sons were sentenced to imprisonment by Southwark Crown Court for a two-year fraud involving stolen cars. Hamza Kamel, then aged 22 and Mohamed Mostafa, then aged 27 (both from Acton, London) ran the scam operation with Abu Hamza’s stepson Mohssin Ghailam, then aged 28. Four other men were jailed on related charges."Mohammed Chiadmi, 31, from Maida Vale, his brother Abdul Chiadmi, 22, from Ladbroke Grove, Khalid Jebari, 22, from Pimlico, and Hamza Mrimou, 27, from Fulham, admitted fraud, handling stolen goods and money laundering." In July 2010, it was reported that another son, Yasser Kamel, then aged 20, was sentenced to twelve months in youth detention after pleading guilty to one count of violent disorder at anti-Israel protests in January 2009. In January 2012, Imran Mostafa (another of Abu Hamza’s sons) was convicted for his part in an armed robbery on a jewellers in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and for illegally possessing a firearm with intent to commit an offence.

Religious life

Hamza was formerly the imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, and a leader of "Supporters of Sharia", an extremist group that believed in a strict interpretation of Islamic law. In 2003, he addressed a rally in central London called by the Islamic al-Muhajiroun, where members spoke of their support for Islamist goals such as the creation of a new Islamic caliphate and destroying the Western-backed Middle Eastern regimes.

On 4 February 2003 (after being suspended since April 2002), Hamza was dismissed from his position at the Finsbury Park mosque by the Charity Commission, the government department that regulates charities in England and Wales. After his exclusion from the mosque, he preached outside the gates until May 2004, when he was arrested at the start of US extradition proceedings against him (see below).

Hamza publicly expressed support for Islamist goals such as creating a caliphate, and for Osama bin Laden. He wrote a paper entitled El Ansar (The Victor) in which he expressed support for the actions of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria, but he later rejected them when they started killing civilians."The Algerian Question", Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed, Yale University Press, John Phillips and Martin Evans, 2007, p. 222.

In one sermon relating to the necessity of Jihad, he said: "Allah likes those who believe in Him who kill those who do not believe in Him. Allah likes that. So if you Muslims don’t like that because you hate the blood, there is something wrong with you."Salafimedia.com "Join the Victorious Party (Part l)".

It is alleged that he associated with Abdullah el-Faisal, a Jamaican Muslim convert cleric who preached in the UK until he was imprisoned for urging his followers to murder Jews, Hindus, Christians and Americans, subsequently being deported to Jamaica in 2007.

Extradition to the United States

On 27 May 2004, Hamza was detained on remand by British authorities and appeared before magistrates at the start of a process to try to extradite him to the United States. Yemen also requested his extradition. The United States wanted Hamza to stand trial for 11 counts relating to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998, advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001, supporting James Ujaama in an attempt to establish a terrorist training camp in late 1999 and early 2000 near Bly, Oregon and of providing aid to al-Qaeda. Ujaama is a U.S. citizen who had met Abu Hamza in England in 1999 and was indicted in the U.S. for providing aid to al-Qaeda, attempting to establish a terrorist training camp, and for running a Web site advocating global violent jihad. Abu Hamza was in Britain throughout the relevant period.