Egyptian Cleric Pleads Not Guilty in NY Court

Abu Hamza al-Masri accused of backing US terror training camp

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 9, 2012 11:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Abu Hamza al-Masri has pleaded not guilty of conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon. The Egyptian cleric entered the plea in New York City today after being extradited from Britain, the AP reports. Two others who arrived from the UK, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary, made their first appearance in another New York court today; their trial in a plot to attack US embassies in Africa will begin next year.

In prison, meanwhile, al-Masri—who is missing his hands—is seeking a new pair of prosthetics. The hooks he had used previously were taken from him on Friday; they're seen as a threat to security and won't be returned, insiders tell the New York Post. "You could brutalize somebody" with the hooks, says a prosthetics expert. "You can put somebody's eyes out or knock out their teeth." The Post notes that he will likely get new prosthetics becuase the US must provide a "reasonable standard" of medical care in prison. The prosthetics could cost the US $16,000.

In this Jan. 23, 2004 file photo, self-styled cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri leads his followers in prayer on a street outside Finsbury Park Mosque.
In this Jan. 23, 2004 file photo, self-styled cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri leads his followers in prayer on a street outside Finsbury Park Mosque.   (AP Photo/John D McHugh, File)
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