A federal court in Manhattan sentenced a radical British cleric to life in prison Friday after he was convicted for conspiracies connected to a 1998 attacks on tourists in Yemen in 1998, building a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore.
In December 1998, extremists tied to Abu Hamza took 16 tourists, including two Americans, hostage after attacking sport utility vehicles carrying the tourists. Abu Hamza gave a satellite telephone to the terrorists' leader and provided advice to him over the telephone, court records show. Just before the attack, Abu Hamza publicly warned "infidels" not to travel to Yemen. Four people were killed and several others wounded during a rescue operation launched by the Yemeni military.
In 1999, Abu Hamza and several followers tried to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly. Although the idea was later abandoned, some of the individuals tied to the plot were subsequently arrested and sentenced for conspiring to provide material support and resources to al-Qaida, including plotting to establish a jihad training camp.
At Abu Hamza's urging, two of his followers went al-Qaida's al Faruq training camp in Afghanistan and met with senior leaders from the terrorist group.
Abu Hamza, who preached at the radical Finsbury mosque in North London, was sentenced in to seven years in prison the U.K. in February 2006 for stirring racial hate and inciting followers to kill non-Muslims.
"Abu Hamza's blood-soaked journey from cleric to convict, from Imam to inmate, is now complete," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a Justice Department press release. "... After years of fighting extradition, Abu Hamza finally faced justice, as all those who engage in terrorism against innocent civilians must, here in the U.S., and all around the globe, as the terrible events in Paris remind us."