The latest terrorist to make waves, Abu Hamza is soon to be extradited to the U.S. from England along with four others to face a number of charges, accused of plotting a terrorist camp in Oregon. Here’s what you need to know.
1. He’s an Egyptian Sunni Terrorist Known for Preaching Islamic fundamentalism
Despite his radical views he does not always publicly support terrorist actions but, as his states in the video above shot shortly after the 9/11 attacks, supports peace. Unfortunately this belief has led him to developing some more extreme viewpoints as to how to achieve that particular outcome, often times through more controlled violent actions.
2. He’s Been Jailed for Years in the U.K. & Will be Extradited to the U.S.
Recently approved by the European Court for Human Rights according to BBC News, Abu Hamza al-Masri (his full name), Babar Ahmad and others is likely to happen within weeks. The decision was made after extensive lobbying by the US and the court deciding “On 10 April 2012 the European Court of Human Rights held, in the case of Babar Ahmad and Others v. the United Kingdom, that there would be no violation of the applicants’ rights if extradited to stand trial in the United States.” To this decision they appealed, after which the count announced “On 9/10 July 2012, five of the applicants lodged a request for referral of the case to the Grand Chamber. Today the Grand Chamber Panel decided to reject the request. This means that the Chamber judgment of 10 April 2012 is now final.”
3. The Queen Spoke Out Against Him
Shared across multiple newspapers and magazines the Queen herself has expressed her dislike over the whole situation, with The Guardian reporting the BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner said the Queen told him she was “aghast that Abu Hamza could not be arrested during the period when he regularly delivered vehemently anti-British views as imam of Finsbury Park mosque in north London.”
4. He’s Missing His Right Hand & an Eye
During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan Hamza sufferd an accident while working on a de-mining operation and now uses a prosthetic hook to replace his right hand. This even led The Sun to post the front-page “SLING YOUR HOOK” headline in January of 2003 (prior to his arrest), encouraging him to leave London.
5. He Was Married Twice & Has 8 Kids
He first married to a Roman Catholic convert to Islam, miss Valerie Traverso, in 1980 and had a son with her. Afterwards he divorced her in 1984 when his son was four and re-married to a woman named Nadjet, through which he had 7 children.
6. He Was Once a Bouncer at a Peep Show in Soho, London
He took up the job as a bouncer after acquiring British citizenship from three years of marriage to his first wife, though there is no clear indication how long he remained on the job prior to taking up religious preaching later on in life.
7. His Son & Stepson Were Busted in Yemen for a Bomb Plot
Occurring in 1999, his son Mohammed Mustafa Kamel (17 years old at the time) and stepson Mohsin Ghalain were arrested in Yemen for plotting terrorist bombing and were arrested for three years and seven years, respectively. The bomb plot also included 8 Britons and 2 Algerians.
8. 5 of His Other Sons Have Been Arrested for Combinations of Fraud, Violent Disorderly Conduct & Armed Robbery in the U.K.
Three of his sons were arrested and sentenced in 2009 for two-year fraud involving stolen cars. They were Hamza Kamel (22), Mohamed Mostafa (27) and his stepson Mohssin Ghailam (28). In 2012 his son Yasser Kamel (20) was sentenced to a year for violent anti-Israeli protests in 2009, while a fifth son Imran Mostafa was convicted of armed robbery of a jewelers this past January 2012.
9. He’s Been in Jail Facing Multiple Charges Since August 26, 2004
Since his arrest he has been found guilty over the years of six charges of soliciting murder, three charges related to “using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with the intention of stirring up racial hatred”, one charge of owning recordings related to “stirring up racial hatred” and one charge of possessing a “terrorist encyclopaedia”.
10. He’s Accused of Attempting to Establish a Terrorist Training Camp Near Bly, Oregon
Hamza began his plot to develop the terrorist cell with James Ujaama back in late 1999 and early 2000.