Extradited Terrorism Suspects Appear in American Courts; PUBLIC SAFETY

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - An extremist Egyptian-born preacher charged in multiple terrorism plots entered a U.S. court for the first time Saturday.

Abu Hamza al-Masri, 54, indicted under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, entered a Manhattan courtroom under heavy security to face charges that he conspired with men from Seattle to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and helped abduct 16 hostages, two of them American tourists, in Yemen in 1998.

Al-Masri has only one eye and claims to have lost his hands fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. He complained in court that prosthetic hooks he uses were taken away as he and four other terrorism defendants were flown to New York from London. His court- appointed attorney, Sabrina Shroff, asked that his prosthetics be immediately returned.

In the 1990s, al-Masri turned London's Finsbury Park Mosque into a training ground for extremist Islamists, attracting men including Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid. …