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Home Secretary: 'Pleased Hamza is where he belongs'

Theresa May said the life sentence reflected the severity of Hamza's crimes. Credit: PA

Home Secretary Theresa May has said she is pleased Abu Hamza has finally faced justice and will spend the rest of his life behind bars "where he belongs".

She added: "His conviction was facilitated by this Government's tireless work to successfully remove him from the UK to face trial."

Hamza said on tape: 'Everyone was happy after 9/11'

Britain extradited Hamza to the US after a lengthy legal battle in 2012. Credit: Reuters

Jailed preacher Abu Hamza said "everybody was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center", in tapes played in his US terror trial.

Hamza, who was tried under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, later spread violent messages following the attacks of September 11 2001.

His lawyers had asked for him to be given a lesser sentence at a prison medical centre due to his amputations and high blood pressure.

But New York district judge Katherine Forrest today jailed him for life after a jury convicted him of 11 terror offences.

Read more: Abu Hamza jailed for life in US for terror offences

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Abu Hamza jailed for life in US for terror offences

Hamza ran a 'global campaign of terror', US court heard. Credit: PA

Abu Hamza has been jailed for life in America after being found guilty of 11 terror offences.

The hook-handed cleric, who only has one eye, was convicted of supporting terror organisations including the taking of Western hostages in Yemen, four of which were killed.

He was also found guilty of sending two followers to Oregon to establish a militant training camp and dispatching an associate to Afghanistan to aid al Qaida and the Taliban against the US.

Hamza, 56, was said to have run a "global campaign of terror" from Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

He was extradited from the UK in 2012, 10 years after the US first issued an initial warrant for his arrest.

US prosecutors wants Abu Hamza jailed for life

Abu Hamza was convicted on terror charges in the US after a protracted extradition battle. Credit: Johnny Green/PA

US prosecutors have urged a federal judge to sentence radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to life in prison following his conviction on terrorism charges in May 2014.

In a court filing ahead of his sentencing on 9th January prosecutors said Abu Hamza should be held accountable for his role as a "global terrorist leader who orchestrated plots around the world to further his deadly mission."

But Abu Hamza's lawyers argued that he should be sent to a prison medical centre because he is too disabled to spend life behind bars.

Last year Hamza was convicted of 11 terror and kidnapping charges, including a charge that he helped kidnappers in Yemen in a 1998 attack that killed four people.

Theresa May welcomes Abu Hamza conviction

Theresa May faced intense scrutiny during her efforts to extradite Abu Hamza. Credit: Oli Scarffe/PA Wire

Home Secretary Theresa May, who faced intense scrutiny during her efforts to deport Abu Hamza, said she was pleased that that the cleric "has finally faced justice" after using "every opportunity, over many years, to frustrate and delay the extradition process".

"His conviction was facilitated by this government's tireless work to successfully remove him from the UK to face trial in October 2012," she added.

Abu Hamza interview 'stood out' in evidence, juror says

A taped interview with a woman whose kidnapping was aided by Abu Hamza "stood out" in the imam's trial, a juror has said.

A recording of a conversation with the Egyptian-born preacher conducted by Mary Quin - a New Zealand national who was one of 16 tourists captured in Yemen in 1998 - was played to the court and "spoke in my mind significantly", Howard Baynson said.

In the tape, recorded during a visit to London's Finsbury Park mosque, the cleric told her "we never thought it would get that bad" - referring to the death of four of her travel companions.

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Abu Hamza verdict 'justifies long journey to extradition'

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The conviction of radical North London cleric Abu Hamza justifies the lengthy efforts made to extradite him from the UK, former home secretary David Blunkett said.

He said: "This has been a very long journey to obtain justice, and to ensure that someone who has been so adept at avoiding the just penalty for his extensive activities is at last being brought to book."

The 55-year-old preacher was jailed in the UK for seven years for soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred in 2006 and first faced an extradition request from the Americans in 2004.

After a protracted legal battle he was extradited to the US in October 2012.

Abu Hamza expected to appeal, defence lawyer says

Abu Hamza is likely to appeal the verdict in his US terror trial, according to his defence lawyer, who cited "insurmountable" problems relating to the evidence presented in the process.

John Dratell told reporters outside the Manhattan court that his client believed his trial was "not about justice" but instead about "getting a conviction.

Prosecutor: Abu Hamza verdict vindicates US justice

The state prosecutor in Abu Hamza's trial has hailed the jury's unanimous guilty verdict, calling the Islamist cleric "not just a preacher of faith, but a trainer of terrorists".

Once again the men and women of this office and the FBI have brought a notorious terrorist before the bar of American justice and once again the men and women of an American jury, having weighed the evidence, have found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt [...]

These trials demonstrate that in an American civilian courtroom, the American people and all the victims of terrorism can be vindicated without sacrificing our principles. And that is one reason our civilian court system is admired the world over."

– Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara
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