What's next? Will we provide the bombs to kill us with? He gets a computer too.
Thank you, American taxpayer!
He should be brought before a military tribunal and executed. Hamza
faces 11 charges, that include conspiring with Seattle men to set up a
terrorist training camp in Oregon and helping abduct 16 hostages, two of
them American tourists, in Yemen.
Handless cleric awaiting terror trial in New York gets prosthetics
By Bernard Vaughan | Reuters
By Bernard Vaughan
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The jail holding Abu Hamza al-Masri, the handless Islamic cleric awaiting trial on U.S. terrorism charges, provided him with a new set of prosthetics on Friday, officials said at a hearing on Friday.
His attorneys had been asking for the new limbs for
months, after authorities refused to allow him to wear his usual metal
hooks outside of his jail cell.
Britain extradited al-Masri last October. The United
States accuses him of providing material support to the al Qaeda network
by trying to set up a training camp in Oregon, among other charges.
Al-Masri is being held in the Metropolitan Correctional
Center next door to the courthouse in lower Manhattan. The
Egyptian-born, white-haired preacher appeared in court on Friday without
Adam Johnson, an official with the MCC, told U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest
that the jail will also bring in an occupational therapist to teach
al-Masri how to hold things with the new prosthetics "almost in a
In trying them out earlier on Friday, al-Masri struggled to get used to the limbs' plastic grips, said Lindsay Lewis, one of his attorneys.
In another accommodation, al-Masri, who is also missing
an eye, will have access to a laptop computer to review evidence in his
cell, Forrest said Friday. Forrest said the accommodation is being made
in part because much of the evidence is in Arabic.
"I must say that this is the first time that I have seen such a thing," Forrest said of the accommodation.
Al-Masri will have access to the computer at all times
except for when it is charging, Lewis said after the hearing. It does
not have Internet access, she said.
Al-Masri will also be able to speak with his family by
telephone on March 18, Forrest said. Lewis said after the hearing that
he is only allowed to speak to his immediate family.
Although pleased with the accommodations, Lewis told
Forrest that al-Masri still had other needs, including a change of
sheets more often. After the hearing, Lewis explained he needs a daily
change of bedding because of a medical condition. Most inmates at the
MCC get clean sheets once a week, she said.
Forrest said that, while she understood Lewis's
concerns, they did not rise to a possible violation of al-Masri's
constitutional rights, as Lewis suggested.
"It's also not a motel," Forrest said. "So you don't get clean sheets … on demand."
Al-Masri, who has asked to be referred to in court by
his birth name, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, has pleaded not guilty to 11
criminal charges. His trial was recently pushed back to March 31, 2014,
at the request of his attorneys, who cited voluminous evidence they need
to sort through.
"It really took this conference in order to get the MCC
and the Bureau of Prisons to truly take these requests we've been
making seriously," Lewis said after the hearing.
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