Friday, January 9, 2015

Fwd: New York

'A Muslim cleric who preached at a London mosque attended by Sept. 11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe-bomber Richard Reid was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a deadly hostage-taking and trying to start a terrorist training camp in Oregon.

Calling the crimes of Abu Hamza al-Masri, 56, "barbaric" and "immoral," U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan today rejected his plea for a shorter term. She said the cleric needed to be "incapacitated."

"I don't believe that the world will be safe in 10 years or 15 years," the judge told Hamza. "I have every reason to believe that if you were free, you'd do it again."

Abu Hamza, whose forearms were amputated after an accident handling explosives, sought leniency because of his disability. He also has diabetes, high blood pressure and psoriasis.

The judge said the loss of his hands hadn't stopped him from inciting followers to carry out a deadly hostage taking in Yemen in 1998, providing captors with a satellite phone they used to communicate with him during the attack.

"You had those disabilities at the time you committed the crimes and it's important for the court to understand that you knew the risks," she said. "I do not think of a time when you would not inspire others to do the things that you yourself could not do."

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