Egyptian Islamic preacher Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, being held in a New York jail while he awaits trial, has to surrender his prosthetic arms, including one with a hook, because jailers consider the limbs to be weapons.
Mustafa fought with the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and had his arms blown off by explosives. He’s also missing an eye, reports Fox News.
But the terror suspect, known by the name Abu Hamza al-Masri, was extradited to the United States from Britain in early October, may not get replacements for his arms anytime soon. And if he does, American taxpayers will have to foot a $15,000 to $100,000 bill to outfit him with arms with rounded fingers that he can’t use as weapons, unless, of course, he pulls a “Three Stooges” attack.
Mustafa, 54, became well-known back in the 1990s when his London mosque became the place for budding extremist Muslims to learn their trade. He’s the guy who taught Sept. 11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe-bomber Richard Reid. And he’s been in jail since 2004 and just now came to the U.S. to face charges that he wanted to set up a similar school in Oregon.
All around, he’s a bad guy, and a bad guy with a hook is not a good thing in prison. But his lawyer, Jeremy Schneider, says making Mustafa be without arms causes a lot of problems because he can’t cope for himself. He’s appeared in court without hands and with his arm stumps, which start below the elbows showing.
But prison officials say the arms aren’t safe, and prisoners have used prosthetics to attack each other. Last January, an inmate in another New York prison said a fellow inmate beat him with his fake arm, and he said the arm felt like a steel baseball bat. Also, in June, a man in Arkansas was accused of using a fake arm and a rock to beat someone to death.
The U.S. Marshals Service also doesn’t want Mustafa to have his hook while in their custody.