Conflict & Justice

Abu Hamza appears in US court following extradition


Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza on April 16, 2004 in London. The European Court of Human Rights approved Hamza's extradition from the UK to the US on April 10, 2012, along with four other suspected terrorists, setting a precedent for extradition between the countries.


Bruno Vincent

Abu Hamza, the Islamic cleric extradited from the UK, appeared in a Manhattan court Saturday. 

Hamza, one of five terror suspects extradited to the United States on Friday, faces charges for his involvement in a kidnapping in Yemen in 1998, as well as conspiracy to open jihadist training camp in rural Oregon in 1999. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted. 

The one-eyed preacher court was presented in court without his hooked prosthetic limbs, which he received after being injured in Afghanistan, CNN reported.

He did not enter a plea at the initial hearing, and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday. 

54-year-old Hamza is currently imprisoned in the maximum-security "terror wing" of the Metropolitan Correctional Centre (MCC), along with two other extradited suspects, Adel Abdel Bary and Khaled al Fawwa, the Telegraph reported.

Both pleaded not guilty separately before a judge on Saturday, as did the two other suspects, Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan.

More from GlobalPost: Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan, extradited terror suspects, plead not guilty (VIDEO)

The accused were "at the nerve centers of Al Qaeda's 'terror networks' and will finally face justice", said Preet Bharara, the US district attorney who will lead the prosecution in New York.

Mary Galligan, the FBI’s acting assistant director-in-charge, said in a statement that the extraditions "are a major milestone in our effort to see these alleged high-level terrorists face American justice," Bloomberg Businessweek reported.  

"The indictments allege the direct participation of these defendants in planning and carrying out some of the most odious acts of al-Qaeda terrorism," Galligan added. 

More from GlobalPost: Abu Hamza to appear in New York court following extradition