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Hate Preacher Abu Hamza Sentenced to Life in Prison

Hook-handed Abu Hamza al-MasriHook-handed Abu Hamza al-MasriA judge in the United States on Friday sentenced British hate preacher Abu Hamza to life behind bars for 11 terrorism and kidnapping convictions, calling his crimes that spanned the globe "evil" and "barbaric", reports AFP.
 
The hook-handed imam, blind in one eye and a double-hand amputee, became a tabloid bogeyman in Britain for preaching vitriolic, anti-American sermons at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London.
 
The sentencing on Friday comes eight months after he was convicted by a jury on May 19, after a four-week trial.
 
Abu Hamza would be "committed to a sentence of life imprisonment in the custody of the United States attorney general and U.S. marshals," the judge announced at the end of a three-hour hearing.
 
Blind in one eye and with both hands blown off by an explosives experiment in Pakistan, he alarmed the jury by speaking of his love for Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden and compared himself to Irish republican leader Gerry Adams.
 
Abu Hamza showed no remorse for his crimes, and again pleaded his innocence in court and demanded to be sent to a federal prison hospital, where he said he would be better treated as a double amputee suffering from diabetes.
 
"With all honesty I do maintain my innocence," he was quoted as having said, dressed in navy scrubs and gesticulating with his raw, red stumps. His face was pale behind a grey and white beard.
 
The judge said she had thought long and hard about the severity of the sentence but ultimately concluded the world would not be safe with him a free man.
 
"Evil comes in many forms but doesn't always show itself immediately in all its darkness," she said. There is "a side of you that this court views as evil."
 
She called his crimes "barbaric" and "obviously unacceptable in a civilized society."
 
It took the jury just 12 hours to convict him of facilitating the 1998 abduction of 16 Western tourists in Yemen, providing material support to Al-Qaeda, assisting the Taliban and sending terror recruits to Afghanistan.
 
Abu Hamza, whose full name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, provided the kidnappers with a satellite phone, acted as an intermediary and dispensed them advice.
 
Four of the kidnapped tourists were killed.

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