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Prosecution case starts today against Abu Hamza

Abu Hamza, the one-eyed Muslim cleric with a hook for a hand, goes on trial in New York on charges that he provided support for al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Hamza faces 11 terrorism related counts, some of these include:

  • Trying to start a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999
  • Charges that he aided militants who kidnapped a group of tourists in Yemen in 1998
  • Gathering funds from UK venues for the Taliban and to support training for jihad in Afghanistan.

The Egyptian-born preacher, who faces life in prison if convicted, told a judge at a pretrial hearing on Wednesday that he is innocent.

More: Home Secretary signing Qatada treaty with Jordan

Decision on Abu Hamza ally expected today

The decision on whether a suspected ally of hate preacher Abu Hamza should be kicked out of Britain will be made by human rights judges today.

Currently being held at high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor, Haroon Aswat, is wanted by US prosecutors for allegedly plotting with Hamza to set up a terror-training camp in Bly, Oregon.

Aswat's case was adjourned to allow judges more time to consider his mental health as he is currently being treated for schizophrenia.

Read: US extradition decision due on British nationals

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Hamza forced to hand over hook

Abu Hamza
Radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza is forced to turn in his prosthetic arms every night in jail Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza is forced to turn in his prosthetic arms every night in jail because officials believe the metal hook on one limb could be used as a weapon.

Abu Hamza's lawyer has complained that giving up the arms leaves his client helpless for hours.

Hamza is expected to be outfitted with a new prosthetic in the shape of a hand at taxpayers' expense of more than US$15,000 (£9,330).

Wife of Abu Hamza asked to move house

The wife of Abu Hamza has been asked to move out of her five-bedroom council house in west London. Najat Mostafa has reportedly been living at the property in Shepherd's Bush since 1995. But Hammersmith and Fulham Council wants her to move to a smaller home.

We believe this home is too big for the number of family members who currently live there and, with over 10,000 people languishing on the borough's housing waiting list, she should move to a more appropriate property.

– Hammersmith and Fulham Council

Najat Mostafa is allowed to refuse the council's request because there is no time limit on her tenancy agreement.

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Terror extraditions 'a watershed moment'

US Attorney Preet Bharara said the extraditions of five terror suspects from the UK to the US were a "watershed moment in our nation's effort to eradicate terrorism"

As is charged, these are men who were at the nerve centres of al Qaida's acts of terror, and they caused blood to be shed, lives to be lost, and families to be shattered.

Hamza will be housed in Manhattan along with 50-year-old Khaled al-Fawwaz and 52-year-old Adel Abdul Bary, whilst 33-year Syed Talha Ahsan and 38-year-old Babar Ahmad will be held in Connecticut.

Abu Hamza appears in US court

Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is seen in this courtroom sketch during a court appearance in Manhattan Federal Court in New York
Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is seen in this courtroom sketch during a court appearance in Manhattan Federal Court in New York Credit: Reuters

Abu Hamza appeared before a federal judge in New York today after being extradited to the US from the late last night. He appeared without the hook he uses for an arm.

He entered no plea to charges of conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon, and of helping to abduct 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998.

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