An Egyptian Islamic preacher whose fiery sermons before and after 9/11 attracted extremists to his London mosque was convicted on Monday in a trial that a prosecutor said should provide justice for the victims of a kidnapping in Yemen more than a decade ago.
The cleric, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa alias Abu Hamza, 55, was found guilty in federal court in Manhattan. Attorney General Eric Holder championed that verdict as a triumph for civil courts.
Mustafa was accused of providing material support to terrorist organisations by enabling hostage takers in the Yemen kidnapping to speak on a satellite phone, by sending men to establish an al-Qaeda training camp in Bly, Oregon, and by sending at least one man to training camps in Afghanistan.
Mustafa looked straight ahead as the verdict was read.
Defence attorney Joshua Dratel said the verdict was “not about the evidence but about a visceral reaction to the defendant”.
“It’s unfortunate that’s what happened and it’s what we feared,” he added.